Communication and Decision-Making About End-of-Life Care in the Intensive Care Unit

Laura Anne Brooks, RN, MN; Elizabeth Manias, RN, BPharm, MPharm, MNStud, PhD, DLF-ACN, MPSA, MSHPA; Patricia Nicholson, RN, PhD


Am J Crit Care. 2017;26(4):336-341. 

In This Article


Five focus groups were conducted, 3 involving ICU nurses and 2 involving ICU physicians. Seventeen ICU nurses and 11 ICU physicians participated in the study. The mean age of nurse participants was 33 years; 15 were women and 2 were men. Nurse participants included critical care registered nurses, clinical nurse specialists, and nurse managers. The mean age of physician participants was 45 years, including consultants, senior registrars, and registrars. Quotations from transcripts are used in this report to support the themes relating to communication and shared decision-making. These quotations are coded with the abbreviations NG and PG to indicate nursing group and physician group, respectively, and P for participant number.

"EOL discussions should occur before patients are admitted to the ICU."