Nurses' and social workers' attitudes and beliefs about and involvement in life-sustaining treatment decisions

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Abstract

Data were collected from 213 nurses and 61 social workers at major hospitals across Israel. Whereas nurses reported being more involved in the daily care of terminally ill patients, social workers reported being more involved in discussions with patients and family members. Nurses were more willing than social workers to use artificial feeding and less willing to use mechanical ventilation and CPR for all conditions. Social workers expressed stronger beliefs about their involvement in end-of-life issues. These findings, which reflect the differences in the professional values and experiences of both groups, encourage the use of interdisciplinary teams to improve end-of-life decision making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-35
Number of pages9
JournalHealth and Social Work
Volume29
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2004

Keywords

  • End of life
  • Life-sustaining treatments
  • Nurses
  • Social workers
  • Terminal illness

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