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Korean nurses’ perceived facilitators and barriers in provision of end-of-life care


Correspondence: JuHee Lee, College of Nursing, Yonsei University, 50 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 120-752, Korea. Email:


This study examined nurses’ perceived facilitators and barriers to end-of-life (EOL) care in clinical settings. The study participants were 383 Korean nurses working at tertiary hospitals. The nurses had an average of 7.6 years of clinical experience. The three highest-scoring facilitating items were ‘family member acceptance of patient death’, ‘having time to prepare the family for the patient's expected death’ and ‘having the physician meet with the family after the patient's death to offer support and validate the given care’. The top two perceived barriers were ‘families not accepting what the physician is telling them about the patient's prognosis’ and ‘dealing with angry family members’. Nurses who had received EOL care education showed a higher score in perception of facilitators than nurses who did not receive that education. EOL care for patients and their families is a challenge; thus, continuing education should be provided to improve nursing practice.