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Keywords

attitude, barriers, facilitators, health professionals, neonatal palliative care

 

Authors

  1. Girgin, Burcu Aykanat PhD
  2. Gozen, Duygu PhD
  3. Aktas, Eda PhD
  4. Ergun, Kubra MSc

Abstract

Few studies have examined and compared neonatal physicians' and nurses' attitudes toward palliative care. This comparative study sought to evaluate attitudes toward neonatal palliative care in neonatal nurses and physicians and identify associated facilitators and barriers. This comparative, cross-sectional study included 173 neonatal intensive care unit staff (149 neonatal nurses and 24 neonatal physicians) in 2 hospitals in Istanbul, Turkey. Data were collected using the Turkish version of the Neonatal Palliative Care Attitude Scale. The results of the study revealed 8 facilitators and 9 barriers to neonatal palliative care. Nurses were significantly more likely than physicians to agree that parents are informed about palliative care options in their unit (P = .008), that caring for dying infants is traumatic (P = .007), and that their willingness to provide palliative care is influenced by their personal attitudes toward death (P = .015). This study demonstrates the importance of parents' active involvement in the palliative care process, the establishment of standard policies and guidelines, and the provision of vocational and in-service education programs to support palliative care. Initiatives to strengthen facilitators and mitigate barriers are needed to optimize the implementation of palliative care in NICUs.