Intensive care unit nurses' perceptions of the obstacles to the end of life care in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Med J. 2017 Jul;38(7):715-720. doi: 10.15537/smj.2017.7.18454.


Objectives: To explore nurses' perceptions of obstacles to the provision of end of life care (EoLC) in the intensive care unit (ICU) in Saudi Arabia.

Methods: A modified version of a questionnaire developed by Beckstrand and Kirchhoff was administered in one setting at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia between March and April 2015.

Results: A total of 87 questionnaires were returned from 140 potential respondents, representing a 62% response rate. Findings highlighted concerns associated with patient's family, physicians who differed in opinions, cultural differences and language barriers. The nurses also noted issues in awareness and involvement in education about EoLC and futile care.

Conclusion: Findings highlight a number of key obstacles to the provision of quality EoLC in ICUs for nurses. Further development of both EoLC guidelines and education about EoLC in ICUs is recommended.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology*
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Terminal Care*
  • Workforce