Staff perceptions of end-of-life care following implementation of the liverpool care pathway for the dying patient in the acute care setting: a New Zealand perspective

J Palliat Med. 2012 Apr;15(4):468-73. doi: 10.1089/jpm.2011.0375.


Background and methods: Ensuring appropriate palliative and end-of-life (EOL) care in the acute environment is complex and challenging. The Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) aims to support staff to provide holistic EOL care utilizing a structured framework to prompt and guide care. We report on the post-implementation findings of a mixed methodology (survey and focus group [FG] forums) study into staff perceptions of EOL care following the pilot implementation of the LCP into two acute wards.

Results and conclusions: Study results suggest that within acute settings staff perceive that the LCP improves EOL care overall, assists interdisciplinary communication around death and dying, and that is a useful tool to positively influence decision making and care delivery. Further research into aspects of staff communication, diagnosing dying, changing direction of care, and the physical environment is warranted.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Attitude to Death*
  • Critical Pathways
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical Staff, Hospital / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • New Zealand
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology*
  • Palliative Care / methods
  • Palliative Care / psychology*
  • Palliative Care / standards
  • Perception*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult