Exploring nurses’ end-of-life care for dying patients in the ICU using focus group interviews

Sun Kyeong Jang, Won Hee Park, Hyo In Kim, Sung Ok Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The aim of this study is to illuminate how nurses working in an intensive care unit perceive their professional duties regarding end-of-life care based on their end-of-life care experience. Design and methods: A qualitative research design utilising focus-group interviews was employed. Two focus groups with twelve nurses were recruited, one consisting of nurses with less than five years of clinical experience in intensive care units and the other with more than five years of experience. Findings: An analysis of the nurses’ explorations of end-of-life care in an intensive care unit for patients facing impending death revealed three main themes: (1) facing an extreme change in human existence, (2) being in the presence of the patient's transition and (3) being prepared as an intensive care unit nurse. These three themes covered a total of 16 subthemes. Conclusion: The findings of this study outline how intensive care unit nurses perceive dying patients and how they manage end-of-life care. It also illustrates how patients and their families can be included in the process, and this should be a component of nurses’ education regarding end-of-life care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-8
Number of pages6
JournalIntensive and Critical Care Nursing
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jun


  • Dying patient
  • End-of-life care
  • Intensive care unit
  • Nurse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care


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