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Social, cultural and experiential patterning of attitudes and behaviour towards assisted suicide in Switzerland: evidence from a national population-based study

Original article
Vilpert S, Bolliger E, Borrat-Besson C, Borasio GD, Maurer J
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20275

Switzerland has the longest history of the legal practice of non-physician assisted suicide of any country. Assisted suicide is not very tightly regulated in Switzerland, and almost all assisted suicides are supported by a right-to-die organisation.

Frailty, underweight and impaired mobility are associated with institutionalisation after post-acute care

Original article
Tröster T, Thalmann M, Fischer K, Bieri-Brüning G, Beeler PE, Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Gagesch M
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20276

Frailty, low Short Physical Performance Battery score and being underweight at admission to PAC were significantly associated with a higher chance of subsequent institutionalisation. Strategies to improve these factors could improve post-acute care outcomes.

Age, comorbidity, frailty status: effects on disposition and resource allocation during the COVID-19 pandemic

Viewpoint
Nickel CH, Rueegg M, Pargger H, Bingisser R
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20269

Three aspects are of utmost importance: first, determination of frailty status (and not just the patient’s age), second, balancing of benefits and harms while considering the most likely outcome taking comorbidity into account, and third, shared decision-making focusing on the individual’s goals of care.

COVID-19 pandemic: palliative care for elderly and frail patients at home and in residential and nursing homes

Special article
Kunz R, Minder M
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20235

The current pandemic and the publication of the SAMS Guidelines “COVID-19 pandemic: triage for intensive-care treatment under resource scarcity” have prompted the Association for Geriatric Palliative Medicine to prepare these recommendations for practice.

The oldest old: the newest focus in end-of-life care?

Viewpoint
Chambaere K
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20206

Older people living with serious illness and multiple old-age related co-morbidities are regarded as a group in a highly vulnerable position when it comes to decision making at the end of life. They are largely unempowered and prone to medical paternalism and ageism. Their low functional status can lead to therapeutic pessimism.

Do older adults benefit from post-acute care following hospitalisation? A prospective cohort study at three Swiss nursing homes

Original article
Thalmann M, Tröster T, Fischer K, Bieri-Brüning G, Beeler PE, Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Gagesch M
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20198

In this real-word sample, post-acute care resulted in a significant and clinically relevant improvement in physical performance and activities of daily living.

Drug prescription patterns, polypharmacy and potentially inappropriate medication in Swiss nursing homes: a descriptive analysis based on claims data

Original article
Schneider R, Reinau D, Schur N, Blozik E, Früh M, Signorell A, Meier CR, Schwenkglenks M
Swiss Med Wkly. 2019;149:w20126

Since drug prescribing plays a major role in nursing home settings, its optimisation has become a public-health issue worldwide. To date, comprehensive data on drug utilisation in Swiss nursing homes are lacking.

Determinants of hospital length of stay after transcatheter aortic valve implantation with self-expanding prostheses: a prospective, single centre observational study

Original article
Frei A, Adamopoulos D, Müller H, Walder B, Perrin N, Reynaud T, Ho S, Roffi M, Mach F, Licker MJ, Noble S
Swiss Med Wkly. 2019;149:w20095

The indication for transcatheter aortic valve implantation is extending to the intermediate risk population, and the price of the devices remains high. In order to limit costs, the use of hospital resources should be optimised.

Planning ahead with dementia: what role can advance care planning play? A review on opportunities and challenges

Review article: Biomedical intelligence
Bosisio F, Jox RJ, Jones L, Rubli Truchard E
Swiss Med Wkly. 2018;148:w14706

Taking care of someone with dementia poses a significant challenge for both relatives and professionals. Advance care planning can empower patients with dementia and their relatives to exert control over future care.

What is the profile of older drivers considered medically unfit to drive? A cross-sectional survey in Western Switzerland

Original article
Sebo P, Vaucher P, Haller D, Huber P, Mueller Y, Favrat B
Swiss Med Wkly. 2018;148:w14684

In Switzerland, a medical assessment is mandatory every other year for drivers over 70. This is usually undertaken by general practitioners (GPs), except in Geneva where it is carried out by the medical assessors of the road traffic office.

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