This review was undertaken to present and critique the most recent (1990-2000) empirical evidence about end-of-life care for older adult patients in ICUs, their families, and care providers. The studies (including descriptive, correlational, longitudinal, and intervention) were found using a combination of these terms: (a) intensive care (units) or critical care (units), and (b) critical illness, critically ill patients, terminally ill, terminal care, life support care, or palliative care. The computerized databases searched were CINAHL and MEDLINE. Only published studies of persons 44 years of age or older, written in English, and conducted in the U.S. or Canada were included. Research was not limited to studies conducted by or written by nurses. Excluded were articles focused on physiology, for example, studies of treatment for specific conditions, and articles focused on predictors of ICU outcomes.