A qualitative study of the use of a supportive care pathway for end of life care in an intensive care unit

Christina Radcliffe, Alistair Hewison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
296 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background:
Providing palliative care support in intensive care settings is beneficial, however, barriers to delivering high-quality end-of-life care remain. To address this, pathways have been used to improve the quality of palliative care in generalist settings. This study describes the views of health professionals using a supportive care pathway in intensive care.

Design:
Qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten health professionals working in a surgical intensive care unit. The data were analysed thematically.

Results:
Participants were positive about the effect of the supportive care pathway on patient care, particularly in enabling consensus in care planning. Some expressed concerns including the difficulty of identifying the ‘correct patients’ for the pathway, the risk of it becoming a ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’, and a euphemism for dying.

Conclusion:
Pathways are one potential mechanism for guiding care planning and communicating the goals of care to colleagues, patients and families, thus contributing to improvements in palliative care.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Palliative Nursing
Volume21
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015

Keywords

  • Palliative care
  • Intensive care
  • Intensive care unit
  • Qualitative research
  • Supportive care
  • Patient care planning

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