Nurses' involvement in end-of-life decisions in neonatal intensive care units

Title

Nurses' involvement in end-of-life decisions in neonatal intensive care units

Creator

Chatziioannidis I; Pouliakis A; Cuttini M; Boutsikou T; Giougi E; Volaki V; Sokou R; Xanthos T; Iliodromiti Z; Iacovidou N

Publisher

Nursing Ethics

Date

2022

Subject

Decision making; End-of-life; Neonatal intensive care unit; Nurses

Description

BACKGROUND: End-of-life decision-making for terminally ill neonates raises important legal and ethical issues. In Greece, no recent data on nurses' attitudes and involvement in end-of-life decisions are available. RESEARCH QUESTION/AIM: To investigate neonatal nurses' attitudes and involvement in end-of-life decisions and the relation to their socio-demographic and work-related background data. RESEARCH DESIGN: A survey was carried out in 28 neonatal intensive care units between September 2018 and January 2019. A structured questionnaire was distributed by post. PARTICIPANTS AND RESEARCH CONTEXT: The questionnaire was answered anonymously by 312 nurses (response rate, 71.1%) and returned to the investigators. ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS: The study was approved by the Bioethics and Research Committee of Aretaieio Hospital in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration. FINDINGS: Nurses more often reported involvement in various end-of-life decisions, such as continuation of treatment without adding further therapeutic interventions for terminally ill neonates, while less reported were mechanical ventilation withdrawal and drug administration to end life. Nurses with a high attitude score, reflecting a more quality-of-life approach, were more likely to be involved in setting limits to intensive care. alpha low score was consistent with life preservation. Nurses' religiousness (p = 0.097), parenthood (p = 0.093), involvement in daily practice (p = 0.03), and position on the existing legal framework (p < 0.002) influenced their attitude score. DISCUSSION: The likelihood of nurses to support interventions in neonates with poor prognosis in neonatal intensive care units was related to their attitudes. After adjusting for potential confounders, the most important predictors for nurses' attitudes were parenthood, involvement in daily practice, and position supporting current legislation reform. CONCLUSION(S): Variability in involvement in end-of-life decisions among nurses exists on a national level.

Citation List Month

April 2022 List

Collection

Citation

Chatziioannidis I; Pouliakis A; Cuttini M; Boutsikou T; Giougi E; Volaki V; Sokou R; Xanthos T; Iliodromiti Z; Iacovidou N, “Nurses' involvement in end-of-life decisions in neonatal intensive care units,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed August 16, 2022, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/18028.

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