A Systematic Review: What Are the Barriers for Nurses in Providing End of Life Care for Pediatric Patients?


Background: Providing care for children at the end-of-life is challenging and distressing for nurses and healthcare professionals. It is important to identify matters that might be a barrier in providing end-of-life care (EOLC).

Objectives: A review of the literature focusing on the barriers in providing EOLC for pediatric patients.

Methods: Literature published from 2009 to 2019 was obtained from four databases (Academic Search Complete, CINAHL, MEDLINE, and Science Direct) and critically reviewed using Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) critical appraisal tools. Primary research studies written in English describing barriers experienced by nurses on EOLC provision which published between 2009-2019 were included.

Results: Ten studies met the inclusion criteria. The barriers perceived by nurses in these studies are communication and language barriers; barriers in interdisciplinary team; lack of knowledge; families who cannot accept the child’s poor prognosis; financial needs; nurses’ feeling; aggressive intervention received by the patient; and inadequate hospital facilities.

Conclusions: Nurses enact a crucial role in caring for dying children and the children’s families. Overcoming barriers in EOLC provision could greatly improve the quality of end-oflife care for dying children. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a conceptual model tosupportnursesandhealthcareprofessionalsinprovidingEOLCforpediatricpatients.

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