Asian Oncol Nurs.  2021 Jun;21(2):98-109. 10.5388/aon.2021.21.2.98.

A Mixed Method Study for Exploring the Difficulties in End-of-Life Care and End-of-Life Care Competency in Nurses Who Take Care of Cancer Patients

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Nursing, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Clinical Nursing, University of Ulsan, Seoul, Korea

Abstract

Purpose
This study investigated the difficulties in end-of-life care and end-of-life care competency in nurses who take care of cancer patients.
Methods
In the mixed method, a structured questionnaire on end-of-life care stress and competency was conducted on 115 nurses caring for cancer patients, and 19 were interviewed for qualitative research. For the collected quantitative data, descriptive statistics were used. For the qualitative study, the contents of the interview were summarized and systematized using the content analysis method to derive the main themes.
Results
The mean end-of-life care stress was 4.08 points (out of 5) and the mean end-of-life care competency was 3.43 points (out of 5). Four themes and 11 sub-themes for the difficulties in end-of-life care were identified, and the four themes are as follows: (1) regret over limited end-of-life nursing, (2) different aspects of persistent emotional distress, (3) overloaded duty at the end-of-life (4) conflicts encountered in decision-making for life-sustaining treatment. Four themes and eight sub-themes for end-of-life care competency were identified, and the four themes are as follows: (1) empathy and listening skills, (2) communication skills, (3) clinical nursing experience and education, (4) clinical nursing competency.
Conclusion
It was confirmed that nurses caring for cancer patients had a high level of end-of-life care stress, and it is necessary to develop a program to reduce difficulties in end-of-life care and increase end-of-life care competency.

Keyword

Stress; Competency; Nurses; Cancer; Terminal care
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