End-of-life care in the pediatric intensive care unit: attitudes and practices of pediatric critical care physicians and nurses

Title

End-of-life care in the pediatric intensive care unit: attitudes and practices of pediatric critical care physicians and nurses

Creator

Burns JP; Mitchell C; Griffith JL; Truog RD

Publisher

Critical Care Medicine

Date

2001

Subject

Child; Cross-Sectional Studies; Humans; United States; Intensive Care Units; Adult; Attitude of Health Personnel; Medical Staff; Questionnaires; Middle Aged; Attitude to Death; Multivariate Analysis; Hospitals; Analysis of Variance; Child Advocacy; Ethics; Medical; Nursing Staff; Practice; Pediatric; Empirical Approach; Death and Euthanasia; Attitudes; decision making; Health Knowledge; ICU Decision Making; Nursing; Pediatrics/methods; Critical Care/organization & administration/psychology; Hospital/education/psychology; Physician's Practice Patterns/organization & administration; Terminal Care/organization & administration/psychology

Description

OBJECTIVE: To determine the attitudes and practices of pediatric critical care attending physicians and pediatric critical care nurses on end-of-life care. DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey. SETTING: A random sample of clinicians at 31 pediatric hospitals in the United States. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: The survey was completed by 110/130 (85%) physicians and 92/130 (71%) nurses. The statement that withholding and withdrawing life support is unethical was not endorsed by any of the physicians or nurses. More physicians (78%) than nurses (57%) agreed or strongly agreed that withholding and withdrawing are ethically the same (p < .001). Physicians were more likely than nurses to report that families are well informed about the advantages and limitations of further therapy (99% vs. 89%; p < .003); that ethical issues are discussed well within the team (92% vs. 59%; p < .0003), and that ethical issues are discussed well with the family (91% vs. 79%; p < .0002). On multivariable analyses, fewer years of practice in pediatric critical care was the only clinician characteristic associated with attitudes on end-of-life care dissimilar to the consensus positions reached by national medical and nursing organizations on these issues. There was no association between clinician characteristics such as their political or religious affiliation, practice-related variables such as the size of their intensive care unit or the presence of residents and fellows, and particular attitudes about end-of-life care. CONCLUSIONS: Nearly two-thirds of pediatric critical care physicians and nurses express views on end-of-life care in strong agreement with consensus positions on these issues adopted by national professional organizations. Clinicians with fewer years of pediatric critical care practice are less likely to agree with this consensus. Compared with physicians, nurses are significantly less likely to agree that families are well informed and ethical issues are well discussed when assessing actual practice in their intensive care unit. More collaborative education and regular case review on bioethical issues are needed as part of standard practice in the intensive care unit.
2001

Rights

Article information provided for research and reference use only. PedPalASCNET does not hold any rights over the resource listed here. All rights are retained by the journal listed under publisher and/or the creator(s).

Type

Journal Article

Citation List Month

Backlog

Pages

658-664

Issue

3

Volume

29

Citation

Burns JP; Mitchell C; Griffith JL; Truog RD, “End-of-life care in the pediatric intensive care unit: attitudes and practices of pediatric critical care physicians and nurses,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed September 18, 2021, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/11998.

Social Bookmarking