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Ethical dilemmas around the dying patient with stroke: a qualitative interview study with team members on stroke units in Sweden.
J Neurosci Nurs. 2014 Jun;46(3):162-70
Publication Type
Helene Eriksson
Gisela Andersson
Louise Olsson
Anna Milberg
Maria Friedrichsen
J Neurosci Nurs. 2014 Jun;46(3):162-70
Publication Type
Attitude of Health Personnel
Attitude to Death
Communication Barriers
Hospice and Palliative Care Nursing - ethics
Neuroscience Nursing - ethics
Nurses' Aides - ethics - psychology
Nursing Staff, Hospital - ethics - psychology
Nursing, Team - ethics
Palliative Care - ethics
Physical Therapists - ethics - psychology
Qualitative Research
Right to Die - ethics
Stroke - nursing - rehabilitation
Terminal Care - ethics
In Sweden, individuals affected by severe stroke are treated in specialized stroke units. In these units, patients are attended by a multiprofessional team with a focus on care in the acute phase of stroke, rehabilitation phase, and palliative phase. Caring for patients with such a large variety in condition and symptoms might be an extra challenge for the team. Today, there is a lack of knowledge in team experiences of the dilemmas that appear and the consequences that emerge. Therefore, the purpose of this article was to study ethical dilemmas, different approaches, and what consequences they had among healthcare professionals working with the dying patients with stroke in acute stroke units. Forty-one healthcare professionals working in a stroke team were interviewed either in focus groups or individually. The data were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using content analysis. The ethical dilemmas that appeared were depending on "nondecisions" about palliative care or discontinuation of treatments. The lack of decision made the team members act based on their own individual skills, because of the absence of common communication tools. When a decision was made, the healthcare professionals had "problems holding to the decision." The devised and applied plans could be revalued, which was described as a setback to nondecisions again. The underlying problem and theme was "communication barriers," a consequence related to the absence of common skills and consensus among the value system. This study highlights the importance of palliative care knowledge and skills, even for patients experiencing severe stroke. To make a decision and to hold on to that is a presupposition in creating a credible care plan. However, implementing a common set of values based on palliative care with symptom control and quality of life might minimize the risk of the communication barrier that may arise and increases the ability to create a healthcare that is meaningful and dignified.
PubMed ID
24796473 View in PubMed
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