End-of-life care practices of critical care nurses: A national cross-sectional survey

Ranse, Kristen, Yates, Patsy, & Coyer, Fiona M. (2016) End-of-life care practices of critical care nurses: A national cross-sectional survey. Australian Critical Care, 29(2), pp. 83-89.

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  • The critical care context presents important opportunities for nurses to deliver skilled, comprehensive care to patients at the end of life and their families. Limited research has identified the actual end-of-life care practices of critical care nurses.


  • To identify the end-of-life care practices of critical care nurses.


  • A national cross-sectional online survey. Methods: The survey was distributed to members of an Australian critical care nursing association and 392 critical care nurses (response rate 25%) completed the survey. Exploratory factor analysis using principal axis factoring with oblique rotation was undertaken on survey responses to identify the domains of end-of-life care practice. Descriptive statistics were calculated for individual survey items.


  • Exploratory factor analysis identified six domains of end-of-life care practice: information sharing, environmental modification, emotional support, patient and family centred decision-making, symptom management and spiritual support. Descriptive statistics identified a high level of engagement in information sharing and environmental modification practices and less frequent engagement in items from the emotional support and symptom management practice areas.


  • The findings of this study identified domains of end-of-life care practice, and critical care nurse engagement in these practices. The findings highlight future training and practice development opportunities, including the need for experiential learning targeting the emotional support practice domain. Further research is needed to enhance knowledge of symptom management practices during the provision of end-of-life care to inform and improve practice in this area.

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ID Code: 86660
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Critical care, End-of-life care, Factor analysis, Nursing, Practices, Survey
DOI: 10.1016/j.aucc.2015.07.001
ISSN: 1878-1721
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NURSING (111000) > Nursing not elsewhere classified (111099)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Nursing
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Elsevier Inc.
Deposited On: 19 Aug 2015 03:31
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2016 21:08

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