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Ann Phys Rehabil Med. 2010 Mar;53(2):96-104. doi: 10.1016/j.rehab.2010.01.002. Epub 2010 Jan 28.

Patients in a permanent vegetative state or minimally conscious state in the Maine-et-Loire county of France: A cross-sectional, descriptive study.

[Article in English, French]

Author information

1
CRRRF-CHU d'Angers, France. vsaout8@gmail.com

Abstract

PURPOSES:

To determine how many patients in a permanent vegetative state or a minimally conscious state are living in healthcare institutions in the Maine-et-Loire county of western France. To evaluate patient management, physical complications, problems encountered by nursing staff and the patient care teams' wishes.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

We performed a cross-sectional, descriptive study in physical medicine and rehabilitation departments, nursing homes, geriatric units and local hospitals. All patients and their medical records were examined by the same investigator. A questionnaire for carers was used to evaluate nursing tasks and a second questionnaire for head nurses served to assess staff needs and the patient care teams' wishes.

RESULTS:

Thirteen patients were identified. Four were in a permanent vegetative state and nine were in a minimally conscious state. Ten patients were cared for in geriatric units, one in a physical medicine and rehabilitation department and two in local hospitals. All patients displayed limited joint angle ranges. All the patient care teams reported practical difficulties and ethical issues.

DISCUSSION:

Our survey highlighted the variety of care scenarios for patients in a permanent vegetative state or a minimally conscious state. It revealed practical difficulties and, above all, ethical questions. The present work could serve as a basis for implementation of a recently issued French government circular on defining specific wards for these patients.

PMID:
20149778
DOI:
10.1016/j.rehab.2010.01.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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