The use of multidimensional scales for assessing fear of death among nursing students can assist in teaching and evaluating the effectiveness of targeted training in thanatology. Research has demonstrated good psychometric characteristics of the Czech version of the Collett–Lester Fear of Death Scale (CL-FODS). It was applied to nursing students (N = 256), who reported as their biggest fear the process of their own dying. Greater fear of death and dying was found in students who had no experience of the dying and death of a loved one. Good internal consistency was achieved for the four subscales of the Czech CL-FODS.
Some of the most ethically challenging and emotionally demanding aspects of nursing occur in caring for patients and their family at the end of life. The aims of this study were to examine the views of acute care nurses caring for patients during transition to comfort care, to describe the personal impact on nurses, and to identify nurses’ strategies for self-support and development of competence. Using a qualitative descriptive approach, we analyzed data from 26 semistructured interviews.
Nurses experienced moral distress in situations of continuing treatment when a cure was unlikely. In managing symptoms for patients, they struggled to foster an often-tenuous balance of patient comfort and calm without oversedation. They struggled to manage the competing demands of a workload including patients receiving curative care juxtaposed with those focused on comfort care. Nurses reflected on their fears as new nurses caring for end-of-life patients, the inadequacy of their preparation for this role, and their distress when the care provided felt inadequate to them.
Nurses navigated challenges through support from nurse colleagues and effective leaders. They appealed to administrators to attend to care concerns arising from time-intensive nature of care. Mentoring and education facilitated assimilation to comfort-care nursing for novice nurses.
Background: Little is known about how certain educational interventions may improve informed code status discussions by physician assistant (PA) and nurse practitioner students.
Methods: This is a prospective, prospective, single academic center pilot study utilizing a short case-based PowerPoint that reviewed the differences between code status choices and the likelihood of survival to hospital discharge of attempted resuscitation after a cardiac arrest. Training occurred between September 1, 2017, and May 31, 2018. The study population included PA and adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner (AGACNP) students during their inpatient internal medicine rotation (n = 9) and preclinical PA students (n = 5).
Results: After training, there was a significant increase in knowledge in the likelihood of survival to hospital discharge (P = .01) and comfort level in having an informed code status discussion (3.36 ± 0.81 vs 4.10 ± 0.80, P = .02). For questions related to identification of the correct code status, there were no significant differences before and after the intervention.
Conclusion: A short case-based PowerPoint viewed by PA and AGACNP students increased the knowledge about the likelihood of survival to hospital discharge of attempted resuscitation after a cardiac arrest and increased the comfort level of having code status discussions with patients by PA and AGACNP students.
BACKGROUND: Moral distress and burnout related to end-of-life decisions in neonates is common in neonatologists and nurses working in neonatal intensive care units. Attention to their emotional burden and psychological support in research is lacking.
AIM: To evaluate perceived psychological support in relation to end-of-life decisions of neonatologists and nurses working in Flemish neonatal intensive care units and to analyse whether or not this support is sufficient.
DESIGN/PARTICIPANTS: A self-administered questionnaire was sent to all neonatologists and neonatal nurses of all eight Flemish neonatal intensive care units (Belgium) in May 2017. The response rate was 63% (52/83) for neonatologists and 46% (250/527) for nurses. Respondents indicated their level of agreement (5-point Likert-type scale) with seven statements regarding psychological support.
RESULTS: About 70% of neonatologists and nurses reported experiencing more stress than normal when confronted with an end-of-life decision; 86% of neonatologists feel supported by their colleagues when they make end-of-life decisions, 45% of nurses feel that the treating physician listens to their opinion when end-of-life decisions are made. About 60% of both neonatologists and nurses would like more psychological support offered by their department when confronted with end-of-life decisions, and 41% of neonatologists and 50% of nurses stated they did not have enough psychological support from their department when a patient died. Demographic groups did not differ in terms of perceived lack of sufficient support.
CONCLUSION: Even though neonatal intensive care unit colleagues generally support each other in difficult end-of-life decisions, the psychological support provided by their department is currently not sufficient. Professional ad hoc counselling or standard debriefings could substantially improve this perceived lack of support.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To explore how Flemish nurses working in hospitals and home care experience their involvement in the care of patients requesting euthanasia 15 years after the legalisation of euthanasia.
BACKGROUND: Euthanasia was legalised in Belgium in 2002. Despite prior research that charted the experiences of nurses in euthanasia care before and right after legalisation in Belgium, it remains unclear how Flemish nurses currently, 15 years after the legalisation, experience their involvement.
DESIGN: A grounded theory design, using semi-structured in-depth interviews.
METHODS: We interviewed 26 nurses working in hospitals or in home care, who had experience with caring for patients requesting euthanasia. Data were collected using a purposive sample and then a snowball sample. Data collection and data analysis were conducted simultaneously. Data were analysed by using the Qualitative Analysis Guide of Leuven. The study adhered to the COREQ guidelines.
RESULTS: Caring for a patient requesting euthanasia continues to be an intense experience characterized by ambivalence. The nature of euthanasia itself contributes to the intensity of this care process. The nurses described euthanasia as something unnatural and planned that generated many questions and doubts. Nevertheless, most interviewees stated that they were able to contribute to a dignified end of life and make a difference, giving them a profound feeling of professional fulfilment. However, when nurses were not able to contribute to good euthanasia care, they struggled with strong negative feelings and frustrations.
CONCLUSION AND RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: Although the results suggest some subtle shifts in nurses' experiences over time, they do not indicate perceptions of euthanasia as a normal practice by the nurses involved. Research on the perceptions of nurses who have strong negative experiences or conscientious objections is needed to further clarify nurses' ethical positions on euthanasia care.
AIMS: We aimed to answer the question: what is the evidence that post-registration palliative care education for nurses improves practice?
BACKGROUND: The 2008 End of Life Care Strategy emphasised the need for a workforce equipped to provide high-quality end-of-life care for patients and their families. As registered nurses are the healthcare professionals spending most time with patients and families at the end of life, associated policy documents stress the importance of educating nurses to equip them with the necessary knowledge and skills to provide effective care. Despite education being a consistent recommendation, the ability of education to influence nursing practice is uncertain.
METHODS: We undertook a systematic review of literature using Joanna Briggs Institute Methodology for Mixed Methods by searching the Medline, Embase and CINAHL databases between January 2006 and December 2018.
FINDINGS: Ten studies met the inclusion criteria, seven contained quantitative data. Six demonstrated improvements in outcome measures, but not all results were statistically significant. Most quantitative data related to self-reported measures of confidence. Six studies contained qualitative findings that were categorised into themes: confidence, practice change, skills and proactivity.
CONCLUSION: Little research exists exploring the impact of post-registration palliative care education for nurses. Existing outcome measures do not clearly demonstrate changes to end-of-life practice. Research is suggested to establish links between self-reported confidence and improvements to practice. Evaluation of the impact on practice should be an integral component of end-of-life education initiatives.
BACKGROUND: Paediatric palliative care (PPC) is an active, total approach to the holistic care of the child and family. Close, long-lasting relationships between healthcare professionals and parents in paediatric palliative care enhance quality, provide emotional support and can influence how parents manage their role in the face of uncertainty.
AIM: To present a narrative literature review of long-term relationships between children's nurses and parents in PPC settings.
METHODS: Six databases (CINAHL, PsycINFO, ASSIA, Scopus, Medline and BNI) were searched, identifying 35 articles. A grey literature search produced seven additional relevant items.
FINDINGS: Four themes were identified: bonds; attachments and trust; sharing the journey; going the extra mile; and boundaries and integrity. All themes revealed an element of tension between closeness and professionalism.
CONCLUSION: Gaining a greater understanding of how closeness and professionalism are successfully managed by children's palliative care nurses could positively influence pre- and post-registration nurse education.
BACKGROUND: Older people in long-term care facilities are at a greater risk of receiving care at the end of life that does not adequately meet their needs, yet staff in long-term care are often unprepared to provide palliative care. The objective of the study was to explore palliative care nurse specialists' experiences regarding the benefits of and barriers to the implementation of a palliative care educational intervention, Supportive Hospice Aged Residential Exchange (SHARE) in 20 long-term care facilities.
METHODS: Reflective logs (465), recorded over the course of the yearlong SHARE intervention by the three palliative care nurse specialists from two local hospices, who were the on-site mentors, were qualitatively analyzed by two researchers utilizing inductive content analysis.
RESULTS: Categories emerging from the logs include the importance of relationships, knowledge exchange, communication, and the challenges of providing palliative care in a long-term care setting.
CONCLUSION: Evidence from the logs indicated that sustained relationships between the palliative care nurse specialists and staff (registered nurses, healthcare assistants) as well as reciprocal learning were key factors supporting the implementation of this palliative care educational intervention. Challenges remain however in relation to staffing levels, which further emphasizes the importance of palliative care nurse specialist presence as a point of stability.
Palliative care as a foundation for patient-centered care is not adequately covered in nursing curricula. This gap in education means that pediatric oncology nurses may lack necessary palliative care competencies to provide comprehensive care to patients. A literature review was performed to determine if nurses believe that they are prepared to provide clinical palliative care to pediatric patients and how pediatric palliative care best practices can be better integrated into nursing education programs. According to the literature review, studies suggest that providing pediatric palliative care education in nursing programs can build nurses' confidence and better prepare them to competently care for patients and families.
BACKGROUND: Oncology nurses are pivotal in the provision of primary palliative care. However, nurses working in oncology settings, where the goal is often curative, may lack knowledge about and comfort in providing palliative care.
OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study is to determine how oncology nurses perceive their ability to provide palliative care services to patients and their families.
METHODS: Using Benner's theory of skill acquisition as a basis for self-evaluation, this cross-sectional, descriptive pilot study surveyed oncology nurses.
FINDINGS: All participants reported ranges from capable to very capable in ability to provide precepts of palliative care. Results showed a small but statistically significant association between years of experience and perceived ability to honor patient and family preferences, provide patient and family support, appreciate demands placed on families, and provide supportive services to caregivers.
Self-expandable metallic stent (SEMS) is a preferred option to relieve dysphagia and to palliate patients with incurable esophageal or gastro-esophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. Health Related Quality of Life (QoL) represents a clinically relevant outcome measure in research focused on palliation of patients with advanced GI cancer. In this context, home visits by a nurse carry the potential to offer important advantages. Eighty patients with incurable esophageal or GEJ cancer were randomized to either standard follow up or to an intervention containing regular home visits by a nurse. The primary outcome variable QoL was assessed by EORTC QLQ-C30 and OES-18 before insertion of SEMS, and at 2, 7 and 12 weeks thereafter. Secondary outcomes were; need for re-interventions, number of patients receiving palliative oncological therapy and overall survival. Sixty-six males and 13 females, with a median age of 71, were included. Self-reported overall QoL was significantly higher in the intervention group (P = 0.03). The organ specific module OES-18 revealed a significant reduction in dysphagia by the intervention (P = 0.03) as well as fewer eating disabilities (P = 0.04). No differences were observed in secondary outcomes except for overall survival, where the median survival was increased from 114 to 183 days by the active intervention (P = 0.02). Home visits by a nurse seem to play an important palliative role after placement of SEMS in patients with incurable esophageal or GEJ cancer by improving QoL and may carry the potential to increase overall survival.
OBJECTIVE: To analyse the level of knowledge and attitudes concerning living wills of nurses working in 3 hospitals of Servizo Galego de Saúde (Spain).
METHOD: Descriptive, cross-sectional, multi-centre study. Stratified sampling was carried out with nurses from the University Hospital Complexes of Ourense, Ferrol and Vigo. A sample size of 239 individuals was calculated. The data was collected during the first semester of 2018 using a validated self-administered questionnaire («Cuestionario de conocimientos y actitudes de los profesionales sanitarios en el proceso de declaración de voluntades vitales»).
RESULTS: A total of 262 nurses participated. Fifty percent believe that health professionals are obliged to inform about living wills. Two percent consider that they have enough information on the subject, and this is demonstrated in the knowledge questions, where between 61%-93% fail in the questions related to the documentation, use, and their legal aspects. Eighty-four percent consider that they have the obligation to uphold the values and beliefs of patients, and 89% that patients have the right to receive and decide on the right care. Thirteen percent consider that patients are not well informed about living wills, and 83% would recommend to chronic patients that they complete a living will.
CONCLUSIONS: Nurses have a great lack of knowledge about the legal aspects and the use of living wills, which makes them feel unable to inform their patients about them. Despite of the lack of knowledge, their attitude is positive and most of them state that they would recommend them to their patients.
Advance care planning (ACP) has been shown to improve end-of-life care, yet uptake remains limited. Interventions aimed at increasing ACP uptake have often used a 'specialist ACP facilitator' model. The present qualitative study appraised the components of an ACP facilitator intervention comprising nurse-led patient screening and ACP discussions, as well as factors associated with the successful implementation of this model in primary care and acute hospital settings across rural and metropolitan Western Australia. Semistructured interviews were undertaken with 17 health professionals who were directly or indirectly involved in the facilitator ACP intervention among patients with severe respiratory disease. Additional process data (nurse facilitator role description, agreements with participating sites) were used to describe the nurse facilitator role. The interview data identified factors associated with successful implementation, including patient factors, health professional factors, ACP facilitator characteristics and the optimal settings for the intervention. The primary care setting was seen as most appropriate, and time limitations were a key consideration. Factors associated with successful implementation included trusting relationships between the nurse facilitator and referring doctor, as well as opportunities for meaningful encounters with patients. This study suggests a model of ACP nurse facilitation based in primary care may be an acceptable and effective method of increasing ACP uptake.
OBJECTIVE: To explore the experience of intensive care nurses when participating in the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatments from intensive care unit patients.
DESIGN AND METHODS: A qualitative descriptive and explorative design. Data were collected in 2017 and 2018 by interviewing nine intensive care nurses. The data were analysed by using systematic text condensation.
SETTING: The nine intensive care nurses interviewed worked in four different intensive care units located in one university hospital and one local hospital.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Experiences when participating in the process of withdrawing life-sustaining treatments.
FINDINGS: Three categories emerged from the data analysis: ICU nurses' experiences of stress in the process of treatment withdrawal; a requirement for interdisciplinary support and cooperation; and elements to achieve a dignified treatment withdrawal process.
CONCLUSION: The intensive care nurses experienced challenges and emotional reactions when patients were overtreated or when they had to participate in treatments they did not agree with. They considered debriefings to be helpful in dealing with emotions. Thorough planning, good communication, pain relief, and the creation of a peaceful environment were perceived as important elements in achieving a dignified treatment withdrawal process.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: This study aimed to examine the psychometric properties of the Revised Death Attitude Profile (DAP-R) in a sample of Greek nurses and nursing students.
METHODS: A convenience sample (n = 934) was used from six National Health System hospitals, and two University Schools of Nursing in central and northern Greece completed the Greek version of the DAP-R (Gr-DAP-R).
RESULTS: Principal component analysis with varimax rotation revealed a six-factor solution, including approach acceptance, death avoidance, escape acceptance, neutral acceptance, fear of death, and after death concerns. The internal consistency for each of the subscales ranged from 0.64 to 0.88. Intercorrelations between the Gr-DAP-R subscales supported the relative independence of death attitudes dimensions.
CONCLUSIONS: The Gr-DAP-R can be used as a research and clinical tool in assessing death attitudes among Greek nurses.
BACKGROUND: Despite the documented and well known patient benefits of ACP, the completion of ACP, only a minority of patients, during the advanced or EOL stage of their illnesses, receive such care. The misconceptions about ACP for healthcare providers, such as nurses, might become potential barriers to the effective implication of ACP. Also, from the transcultural perspective, it is evident essential to explore Taiwanese nurses' attitudes, knowledge, and actions of ACP. The purposes of this study were to explore the implication of ACP or hospice care for nurses caring for non-cancer chronic illness patients at a regional teaching hospital in Taiwan; and, to identify predictors of those nurses' knowledge, attitudes, and actions toward ACP.
METHODS: This cross-sectional study with a purposive sample of 218 nurses was conducted at a teaching hospital in southern Taiwan. Structured questionnaires were employed and data were analyzed with descriptive statistics, t-test, one-way ANOVAs, Pearson's correlation and multiple regressions.
RESULTS: 16.1% of Taiwanese physicians actively initiated ACP issues or conversations with patients or their family members. Nurses' attitudes toward ACP were fairly positive but their knowledge about ACP was insufficient and actions of ACP were not positively executed. The predictors of ACP-Knowledge (ACP-K) included position title, education hours and lacking of educational training. The predictors of ACP-Attitude (ACP-A) included ACP-K and "fear of patient or family member not accepting", whereas ACP-A, position title, "patients do not feel necessary" and "not sure physician's concern" were the predictors of ACP-Act.
CONCLUSION: Continuous education and training for nurses regarding ACP needs to be improved by taking those predictors found in this current study into account, and more studies on the nurse's role in ACP also should be further examined.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: KAFGH 106-012. Date of registration 1 May 2017.
Despite UK national guidance on care after death, it is clear that the bereaved family can experience distress while waiting for the patient's death to be verified. This distress can escalate if there is a delay in verification. Anecdotally, such delays particularly occur out of hours and in community settings. Verification of death is a clinical task and an act of care whereby the identity of the person and death is confirmed. In addition, the subsequent providers of care to the deceased, such as families, mortuary teams, funeral directors and cremation services, have their health and safety protected by the provision of pertinent patient-specific information, for instance, infection risk and implantable devices, within the bounds of confidentiality. During this time, the bereaved family may also receive emotional support and information from the skilled clinician. Registered Nurse Verification of Expected Adult Death (RNVoEAD) guidance and associated competencies have recently been developed to ensure that the registered nurses involved in the patient's care can feel confident about their responsibilities and competent in the process of verifying death. It is hoped that this guidance will help to avoid delays that may cause additional distress to grieving families. This article sets out the rationale for the guidance, as well as discussing outstanding concerns and proposals for future considerations.
AIMS: To explore the intentions of nurses to respond to requests for legal assisted dying.
BACKGROUND: As more Western nations legalise assisted-dying, requests for access will increase across clinical domains. Understanding the intentions of nurses to respond to such requests is important for the construction of relevant policy and practice guidelines.
DATA SOURCES: 45 Australian nurses from aged, palliative, intensive or cancer care settings surveyed in November 2018.
METHOD: Q-methodology studying nurses' evaluations of 49 possible responses to a request for a hastened death. Data consisted of rank-ordered statements analysed by factor analysis with varimax rotation.
FINDINGS: Four distinct types of intentions to respond to requests for assisted-dying: a) refer and support ; b) object to or deflect the request; c) engage and explore the request; or d) assess needs and provide information.
CONCLUSION: The findings underscore the complexity of intentionality in assisted dying nursing practice and differences from other forms of end-of-life care, particularly regarding patient advocacy and conscientious objection. This study enables further research to explore determinants of these intentions. It can also assist the development of professional guidance by linking policy and clinical intentions.
IMPACT: Identified a basic range of nurses' intentions to respond to requests for assisted dying, as there was no evidence at present. Developed a four-fold typology of intentions to respond with most nurses intending to engage in practices that support the requestor and sometimes the request itself. A minority would object to discussing the request. The relatively low level of advocacy within the intended responses selected also is distinctly different from other end-of-life care research findings. This research could assist nursing associations in jurisdictions transitioning to legal assisted-dying to develop guidance ways nurses can frame their responses to requests.
It is estimated that 11.1 million people in the United States are living with serious illness, and most people with serious illness need palliative care. Quality palliative care incorporates culturally sensitive care, and with the increasing diversity in the United States, it has become even more critical that nurses and health care professionals be prepared to meet the unique needs of those living within the diverse and underserved populations of this country. Advocating for access to palliative care for the seriously ill, culturally respectful care at the end of life, and honoring values, practices, and beliefs are essential roles of the nurse. This article presents 4 examples of individuals from diverse and potentially vulnerable US populations who face unique challenges as they deal with their life-limiting diseases and face end of life.
Because of the growing population of patients with serious illness, the demand for specialty palliative care exceeds the resources available. Nurses must be prepared to provide primary palliative care to fill the gap in the availability of specialized palliative care providers. However, meeting the educational needs of a vast number of practicing nurses poses a significant challenge. Often, institutions are limited in the financial and staffing support that they can contribute for continuing nursing education, especially when the training requires staff to spend substantial time away from work. In order to address this issue, one large medical center conducted a study to examine the educational and clinical practice outcomes of offering an online version of the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium Core Curriculum to nearly 100 nurses. The participants were divided into 2 groups. Group 1 received online education only, whereas the other group received the online education plus a 3-hour face-to-face training session. Both groups reported statistically significant improvements in symptom management and communication skills, with no significant difference between the pedagogical approaches. Most importantly, the education resulted in a statistically significant impact on the nurses’ clinical practice. The results of this study demonstrate that online education can be used as an effective and efficient strategy to provide primary palliative care education to a large number of nurses.