Background: End-of-life care (EOLC) is a pivotal element of work in ICUs and for critical care nurses, thus, it is considered one of the top research priorities recently as number of admission ICUs increasing and high percentage of deaths also.
Objective: This study was conducted to explore the obstacles of EOLC and strategies for improvement from nurses’ perception.
Methods: The questionnaire, that was developed by Beckstrand and Kirchhoff (2005), was used to collect data from 163 critical care nurses from different hospitals.
Results: Two hundred questionnaires were distributed. One hundred and sixty-three questionnaires were completed and returned with response rate 81.5%. The majority of the participants were male nurse 104 (63.8%), with bachelor degree 153 (93.9%), working in adult ICU 105 (64.4%), as bedside nurse 141 (86.5 %). The highest obstacles from the nurses’ perception were family and friends who continually call the nurse wanting an update on the patient’s condition rather than calling the designated family member for information (mean=4.07). Furthermore, the highest three supportive behaviors from the nurses’ perception were physicians agreeing about direction of patient care (mean=3.96), family members accept that patient is dying (mean=3.94), and family designating one family member as contact person for the rest of the family (mean=3.89).
Conclusion: As the number of deaths is increasing in critical care units, the needs to understand how the EOLC is provided in these units. Identifying obstacles and supportive behaviours will assist the stakeholders and policymakers to set the action plans for improving the quality of EOLC.