Background: Intensive Care Unit (ICU) nurses have a vital role in the implementation of end of life (EOL) care. There is limited data on the attitude of ICU nurses toward EOL and palliation.
Aim: This study aimed to investigate knowledge, attitude, and beliefs of intensive care nurses in eastern India toward EOL.
Materials and Methods: A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to delegates in two regional critical care nurses' training programs.
Results: Of 178 questionnaires distributed, 138 completed, with a response rate of 75.5%. About half (48.5%) had more than 1 year ICU experience. A majority (81.9%) agreed that nurses should be involved in and initiate (62.3%) EOL discussions. Terms “EOL care or palliative care in ICU” were new for 19.6%; 21% and 55.8% disagreed with allowing peaceful death in terminal patients and unrestricted family visits, respectively. Work experience was associated with wanting unrestricted family visitation, discontinuing monitoring and investigations at EOL, equating withholding and withdrawal of treatment, and being a part of EOL team discussions (P = 0.005, 0.01, 0.01, and 0.001), respectively. Religiousness was associated with a greater desire to initiate EOL discussions (P = 0.001).
Conclusion: Greater emphasis on palliative care in critical care curriculum may improve awareness among critical care nurses.
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