terminal care, end-of-life care, textbooks, critical care, textbook review, nursing


Nurses have identified a need for improving their knowledge and skills in providing end-of-life care. Critical care nursing textbooks can serve as an important source of information on end-of-life care for critical care nurses. Hence, an analysis of end-of-life content in 14 critical care nursing textbooks was conducted. Critical care nursing textbooks used for review were published in 1995 or later and identified from the libraries at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Brigham Young University. The end-of-life content areas identified by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), under which the AACN end-of-life competencies for undergraduate nursing students can be taught, were used as a framework for assessing the presence or absence of end-of-life content in the textbooks. When end-of-life content was present, two reviewers judged whether the information was helpful. Four additional end-of-life content areas were identified in some textbooks during the study, and reviewers also judged whether these were helpful. None of the textbooks had end-of-life content in all the content areas used for the analysis. Three textbooks did not contain any end-of-life content.

Original Publication Citation

Kirchhoff, K. T., Beckstrand, R. L., & Anumandla, P. R. (2003). Analysis of end-of-life content in critical care nursing textbooks. Journal of Professional Nursing, 19(6), 372-381.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Journal of Professional Nursing





University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor