decision making, end-of-life care, nursing



  1. Gauthier, Donna M. PhD, RN


Until recently, little research has been directed toward specifically accessing the patient's perspectives regarding decision making during a terminal illness. Several reasons explain this gap; however, an important reason lies in the fact that as recently as the 1990s, many US physicians did not directly inform patients of the diagnosis of a life-threatening illness, much less inform them that they were in the terminal stages of their illness (Approaching Death: Improving Care at the End of Life. Washington, DC: National Academy Press; 1997). The study reported here was designed to increase the understanding of the factors that influence the decision making process for patients receiving hospice services. The purpose of the study was to identify facilitators and barriers to decision making as perceived by patients receiving hospice services.