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End-of-life care is the activity or practice that helps to support children at the end stage of life, as well as their families. However, in pediatric intensive care units, there is a lack of well-defined practices for nurses about how to provide such end-of-life care. This qualitative descriptive study aimed to explore nurses’ perspectives on providing end-of-life care for children and their families. Purposive sampling was used to select 24 nurses in a pediatric intensive care unit of a tertiary hospital in northern Thailand. Participant observation and in-depth interviews were used to collect data, from October 2016 to November 2017. The content analysis was used to analyze data.
The findings identified six themes from the perspectives of nurse informants regarding end-of-life care for children: 1) assessing for entering end-of-life stage; 2) decision-making for end-of-life care; 3) alleviating suffering at end-of-life period; 4) providing spiritual care; 5) continuity of end-of-life care, and; 6) receiving inadequate policy support. The study provides essential knowledge about how end-of-life care is provided by nurses for children and families in intensive care which could help nurses gain a better understanding of end-of-life care provision and also utilized to generate end-of-life care interventions for these children in Thailand.
Copyright: The Pacific Rim International Journal of Nursing Research, Thailand Nursing & Midwifery Council has exclusive rights to publish, reproduce and distribute the manuscript and all contents therein.
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