death, dignified dying, dying, end of life, International Classification for Nursing Practice



  1. Wilson, Sarah A. PhD, RN
  2. Coenen, Amy PhD, RN, FAAN
  3. Doorenbos, Ardith PhD, RN


The purpose of this study was to validate the concept of dignified dying and to identify nursing interventions to promote dignified dying. US nurses (N = 281) who participated in the 2000-2001 End of Life Nursing Education Consortium were surveyed via e-mail. Subjects rated characteristics for representativeness of dignified dying and identified nursing interventions to promote dignified dying. Examples of major characteristics of dignified dying identified through quantitative analysis included "verbalizes relief of pain," "expresses control of symptoms," and "participates in decisions for care and treatment." Examination of construct validity resulted in a two-factor solution accounting for 60% of the variance. The factors supported issues beyond the physical concerns of illness, including psychosocial and spiritual dimensions of end-of-life care. Qualitative analysis was used to cluster interventions identified by nurses to promote dignified dying. Interventions focused on increasing comfort and included, for example, listening, pain control, life review, and family support.