A One Hour Teaching Intervention Can Improve End-of-Life Care


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Background: It is not known if standard nursing actions are tailored to patient preferences forcomfort measures during End of Life (EOL) care.Objectives: Determine the effect of a brief teaching intervention on student care of EOLpatients.Design: Pre-test/post-test intervention design.Settings: Two large public universities and one smaller private Catholic institution (all in theUnited States [U.S.]).Participants: 471 nursing students attending class as part of their required nursing curriculum.Methods: A previously developed aggressiveness of nursing care scale was modified todetermine students’ behavioral intentions for the care of the EOL patient before and after astandardized lecture. The lecture was designed to help students recognize that nursing carepriorities for the EOL patient may need to be different than for other patients in order to providethe best quality of remaining life.Results: Nursing students prior to the lecture had aggressiveness of care scores similar to thoseof experienced staff nurses, and were more likely to provide more aggressive care to youngerpatients without DNR orders than to older patients with a DNR order. Following the lecture,aggressiveness of nursing care scores decreased significantly for all EOL patients, and studentsreported similar behavioral intentions for all EOL patients, regardless of patient age or codestatus. Student age was marginally related to change in behavior following the lecture. Priorexperience in caring for a dying patient or relative did not have a significant effect onaggressiveness of care scores before or after the lecture.Conclusions: This study demonstrates the effectiveness of a brief teaching intervention to helpstudent nurses take patient preferences and needs into consideration when selecting nursinginterventions for the EOL patient.


Critical Care Nursing | Geriatric Nursing | Other Nursing