Critical care nurses' perception of barriers and supportive behaviors in end-of-life care

Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2013 May;30(3):297-304. doi: 10.1177/1049909112450067. Epub 2012 Jun 27.


Aim: To investigate critical care nurses' perceptions of barriers and supportive behaviors in providing end of life (EOL) care to dying patients and their families.

Methods: The study involved a convenient sample of 70 nurses who were involved in caring for critically ill patients. Data were collected using a structured interview sheet.

Results: Barriers to providing EOL care were related to intensive care environment, family members, nurses' knowledge and skills, physicians' attitudes and treatment policy. Possible help to providing EOL care involved nurses' support to each other, patient and family-centered care, and families' support.

Conclusions: There is a need to allow the family unlimited access to the dying patient, involve them in patient care and provide them with a private place for grieving.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Critical Care Nursing*
  • Family / psychology
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units / organization & administration*
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Terminal Care / methods*
  • Terminal Care / standards
  • Young Adult