Psychological support in end-of-life decision-making in neonatal intensive care units: Full population survey among neonatologists and neonatal nurses

Title

Psychological support in end-of-life decision-making in neonatal intensive care units: Full population survey among neonatologists and neonatal nurses

Creator

Dombrecht L; Cohen J; Cools F; Deliens L; Goossens L; Naulaers G; Beernaert K; Chambaere K; Laroche S; Theyskens C; Vandeputte C; Cornette L; Van de Broek H

Publisher

Palliative Medicine

Date

2019

Subject

article; Belgium; burnout; controlled study; counseling; decision making; human; Likert scale; neonatal intensive care unit; neonatal nurse; neonatologist; newborn; perinatal death; questionnaire; terminal care

Description

Background: Moral distress and burnout related to end-of-life decisions in neonates is common in neonatologists and nurses working in neonatal intensive care units. Attention to their emotional burden and psychological support in research is lacking. Aim: To evaluate perceived psychological support in relation to end-of-life decisions of neonatologists and nurses working in Flemish neonatal intensive care units and to analyse whether or not this support is sufficient. Design/participants: A self-administered questionnaire was sent to all neonatologists and neonatal nurses of all eight Flemish neonatal intensive care units (Belgium) in May 2017. The response rate was 63% (52/83) for neonatologists and 46% (250/527) for nurses. Respondents indicated their level of agreement (5-point Likert-type scale) with seven statements regarding psychological support. Results: About 70% of neonatologists and nurses reported experiencing more stress than normal when confronted with an end-of-life decision; 86% of neonatologists feel supported by their colleagues when they make end-of-life decisions, 45% of nurses feel that the treating physician listens to their opinion when end-of-life decisions are made. About 60% of both neonatologists and nurses would like more psychological support offered by their department when confronted with end-of-life decisions, and 41% of neonatologists and 50% of nurses stated they did not have enough psychological support from their department when a patient died. Demographic groups did not differ in terms of perceived lack of sufficient support. Conclusion: Even though neonatal intensive care unit colleagues generally support each other in difficult end-of-life decisions, the psychological support provided by their department is currently not sufficient. Professional ad hoc counselling or standard debriefings could substantially improve this perceived lack of support.

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).

Citation List Month

January 2020 List

Collection

Citation

Dombrecht L; Cohen J; Cools F; Deliens L; Goossens L; Naulaers G; Beernaert K; Chambaere K; Laroche S; Theyskens C; Vandeputte C; Cornette L; Van de Broek H, “Psychological support in end-of-life decision-making in neonatal intensive care units: Full population survey among neonatologists and neonatal nurses,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed September 25, 2021, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/16863.

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