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Critical care, End-of-life, End-of-life care knowledge needs, Obstacles and supports for end-of-life care



  1. Crump, Saundra K. PhD(c), MSN, RN, CHPN
  2. Schaffer, Marjorie A. PhD, RN
  3. Schulte, Evie BSN, RN, LAc


In response to critical care nurses' perceptions of increasing stress and conflict in difficult end-of-life (EOL) situations, the researchers conducted a study to identify perceived obstacles, supports, and knowledge needed to provide quality EOL care. The conclusions were as follows: (1) families and patients need clear, direct, and consistent information to make EOL decisions; (2) physician-related issues affect nurses' ability to provide quality EOL care; (3) critical care nurses need more knowledge, skill, and a sense of cultural competency to provide quality care; and (4) having properly completed advance directives can reduce confusion about the goals of care. Recommendations for improving EOL care were made as a result of the study.