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The involvement of intensive care nurses in end-of-life decisions: a nationwide survey

Ho, K.M., English, S. and Bell, J. (2005) The involvement of intensive care nurses in end-of-life decisions: a nationwide survey. Intensive Care Medicine, 31 (5). pp. 668-673.

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Objective: To investigate the prevalence and predictors of intensive care nurses’ active involvement in end-of-life (EOL) decisions.

Design and setting: A survey of intensive care nurses from 36 intensive care units (ICUs) in New Zealand.

Measurements and results: A total of 611 ICU nurses from 35 ICUs responded to this survey. The response rate was estimated to be between 43% and 81%. Seventy-eight percent of respondents reported active involvement in EOL decisions, especially the senior nurses (level IV vs. I nurses, OR 7.9; nurse educators vs. level I nurses, OR 4.3). Asian (OR 0.2) and Pacific Islander nurses (OR 0.2) were less often involved than European nurses. Sixty-eight percent of respondents preferred more involvement in EOL decisions, and this preference was associated with the perception that EOL decisions are often made too late (OR 2.2). Sixty-five percent believed their active involvement in EOL decisions would improve nursing job satisfaction.

Conclusions: Most ICU nurses in New Zealand reported that they are often involved in EOL decisions, especially senior and European nurses.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Springer
Copyright: © 2005 Springer-Verlag
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