Background: Critical care nurses (CCNs) frequently provide end-of-life care for critically ill patients. CCNs may face many obstacles while trying to provide quality EOL care. Some research focusing on obstacles CCNs face while trying to provide quality EOL care has been published; however, research focusing on family behavior obstacles is limited. Research focusing on family behavior as an EOL care obstacle may provide additional insight and improvement in care. Objective: What are the predominant themes noted when CCNs share their experiences of common obstacles, relating to families in providing EOL care? Methods: A random geographically dispersed sample of 2,000 members of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses was surveyed. Responses from a qualitative question on the questionnaire were analyzed. Results: Sixty-seven EOL obstacle experiences surrounding issues with families' behavior were analyzed for this study. Experiences were categorized into 8 themes. Top three common obstacle experiences included families in denial, families going against patient wishes and advance directives, and families directing care which negatively impacted patients. Conclusions: In overcoming EOL obstacles, it may be beneficial to have proactive family meetings to align treatment goals and to involve palliative care earlier in the ICU stay.
College and Department
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Mallory, Caitlin Brook, "Critical Care Nurses' Experiences of Family Behaviors as Obstacles in End-of-Life Care" (2017). All Theses and Dissertations. 6903.
obstacles, intensive care units, end-of-life, nurses