Spanish nephrology nurses' views and attitudes towards caring for dying patients

Tai Mooi Ho, Eva Barbero, Carlota Hidalgo, Carme Camps
Journal of Renal Care 2010, 36 (1): 2-8
Patients with advanced chronic kidney disease are increasingly elderly with increasing numbers of co-morbidites. Some may not be suitable for dialysis, some will choose to withdraw from treatment after a period of time and some will reach the end of their lives while still on dialysis. Studies have shown nurses' attitudes towards caring for dying patients affect the quality of care. A descriptive study was conducted to explore Spanish nurses' views and attitudes in this context and to assess any relationship between demographic variables and attitudes. Two measurement tools were used: a demographic survey and the Frommelt Attitude Toward Care of the Dying Scale-Form B. Two hundred and two completed questionnaires were returned. Although respondents demonstrated positive attitudes in this domain, 88.9% viewed end-of-life (EOL) care as an emotionally demanding task, 95.3% manifested that addressing death issue require special skills and 92.6% reported that education on EOL care is necessary. This paper suggests strategies which could ease the burden in this area of care.

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