Attitudes of registered nurses about the end - Of - life care in multi-profile hospitals: A cross sectional survey

Aurelija Blaževičienė, Lina Laurs, Jamesetta A. Newland

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: End-of-life care is provided in a variety of healthcare settings, not just palliative care hospitals. This is one reason why it is very important to assess all barriers to end-of-life care and to provide safe and quality services to patients. This study was aimed at describing nurses' attitudes in providing end-of-life care and exploring barriers and facilitating behaviors of nurses in multi-profile hospitals in Eastern Europe. Methods: A descriptive, correlational design was applied in this study, using a cross-sectional survey of 1320 registered nurses within 7 hospitals in Lithuania. Results: Registered nurses working in the three different profiles emphasized safe and effective care and the importance of meeting the patient's spiritual needs at the end of life. The main barriers assigned by nurses caring for patients at the end of life were angry family members, inadequate understanding of nursing care by the patient's relatives; lack of time to talk to patients, lack of nursing knowledge to deal with the bereaved patient's family, lack of evaluation of nurses' opinions, and the evasion by physicians to talk about the diagnosis and their over-optimistic view of the situation. The main facilitating behaviors to improve nursing care were end-of-life training, volunteering, and family involvement. Conclusions: Spiritual needs were identified by nurses as the primary needs of patients at the end of life. Family-related barriers remain one of the main barriers to end-of-life care. Also, the behavior of physicians and their relationship with nurses remains one of the most sensitive issues in end-of-life care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number131
JournalBMC Palliative Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 19 2020


  • Barriers to care
  • End-of-life care
  • Facilitating behaviors
  • Registered nurses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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