Good Death: Perspective of Nurses in Critical Care Unit


  • Waravan Mongchan Faculty of Nursing, Chiang Mai University
  • Pikul Phornphibul Faculty of Nursing, Chiang Mai University
  • Pratum Soivong Faculty of Nursing, Chiang Mai University


Good Death, End of Life, Critical care Nurses


Technological advancements in medical treatment can lead to complicated and unnatural deaths in critical care units. Critical care nurses are responsible for providing a good death for dying patients in critical care units. Thus, nurses’ perspectives of what constitutes a good death influences the ways they provide care for these patients. This descriptive research aimed to describe nurses’ perspectives on attributes of good death. The research sample was 305 critical care nurses randomized from 10 government hospitals in upper Northern Thailand, including secondary and tertiary levels. The research instruments consisted of a demographic data recording form and the Thai version of the Good Death Inventory (GDI) which had a reliability of .97.  Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics.            The results revealed the respondents perceived attributes of good death. These attributes were classified as the core domains of good death and were ranked from highest to lowest as follows: 1) being respected as an individual, 2) good relationship with family, 3) preparation for death, 4) religious and spiritual comfort, 5) maintaining hope and pleasure, 6) good relationship with medical staff, 7) receiving enough treatment, 8) natural death, 9) feeling that one’s life is worth living, and 10) physical and psychological comfort. In addition, some relatively less important characteristics were classified as optional domains of good death and were ranked from highest to lowest as follows: 1) life completion, 2) dying in a favorite place, 3) environmental comfort, 4) control over the future, 5) awareness of death, 6) independence, 7) not being a burden to others, and 8) pride and beauty.

        The results of this study can contribute to knowledge regarding good death of critically ill patients as perceived by critical care nurses in Thailand. These findings also provide information for further improving critical care nurses’ competency in end-of-life care. Factors associated with good death as well as nursing interventions of promoting good death among critical care nurses are recommended for further studies


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Research Article