Critical care nurses’ practices in the provision of end-of-life care

Ranse, Kristen, Yates, Patsy, & Coyer, Fiona M. (2014) Critical care nurses’ practices in the provision of end-of-life care. In 38th Australian and New Zealand Annual Scientific Meeting on Intensive Care and the 19th Annual Paediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care Conference, 17-19 October 2013, Hobart, Tas.

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  • To improve the care that dying patients and their families receive and to support nurses in the provision of this care, it is important that the end-of-life care (EOLC) practices of critical care nurses are identified. Limited research has identified the actual EOLC practices of critical care nurses.


  • To identify critical care nurses’ EOLC practices and the frequency of these practices.


  • A convenience sample of ACCCN members was invited to complete an online survey. Items on the survey were measured on a 5-point rating scale where 1=never and 5=always. Descriptive analyses and exploratory factor analysis was undertaken on survey responses from 392 critical care nurses (response rate 25%).


  • Six EOLC practice areas were identified: information sharing, environmental modification, emotional support, patient and family centred decision making, symptom management and spiritual support. The items most frequently undertaken were information sharing and environmental modification practices including answering questions (M=4.61, SD=0.58) and placing chairs around the bed (M=4.73, SD=0.51), whilst items least frequently undertaken were emotional support practices, such as encourage the family to reminisce (M=3.72, SD=0.87).


  • Critical care nurses’ engage in practices to share control with and support inclusion of families experiencing death and dying. The most frequently identified EOLC practices were those that are easily implemented, practical strategies aimed at supporting the patient at the end-of-life and their family. These practices arguably require less emotional engagement by the nurse. Nurses must be adequately prepared and supported to provide comprehensive care in all areas of EOLC practice.

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ID Code: 95769
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: end-of-life care, critical care
DOI: 10.1016/j.aucc.2013.10.004
ISSN: 1036-7314
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NURSING (111000)
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 2013 Elsevier
Deposited On: 07 Jun 2016 23:17
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2016 08:54

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