Perceived quality of palliative care in intensive care units among doctors and nurses in Taiwan

Ying Xuan Ke, Sophia H. Hu, Naomi Takemura, Chia Chin Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: To compare perceptions of various aspects of palliative care for doctors and nurses; and examine factors contributing to perceived quality palliative care in intensive care units (ICUs). DESIGN: A cross-sectional survey study conducted from November to December 2013. Questionnaires used were Knowledge, Attitudinal and Experiential Survey on Advance Directives (ADs), Clarke's Quality of Palliative Care and Nurses' Participation in the end-of-life (EOL) decision-making process. SETTING: Seven adult medical and surgical ICUs at a medical center in Northern Taiwan. PARTICIPANTS: In total, 172 doctors and nurses who worked in adult ICU for more than 3 months. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Nurses' and doctors' perception of quality palliative care. RESULTS: Nurses provided better care than doctors in symptom management, comfort care and spiritual care; their participation in EOL decision-making was the sole modifiable contributor to perceived quality palliative care in ICUs (β = 0.24, P < 0.01). Both doctors and nurses had positive attitudes towards ADs (mean = 4.05/10; standard deviation [SD] = 1.38) while their knowledge of ADs was poor (mean = 29.72/40; SD = 3.00). More than half of nurses currently participated in EOL decision-making and over 80% of doctors and nurses agreed both parties should engage in EOL decision-making process. Majority of doctors (83.9%) reckoned nurses agreed with their EOL decisions while a significant percentage (40%) of nurses were uncertain about doctors' decisions (χ2 = 12.07, P < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: Nurses' participation in EOL decision-making and strengthening spiritual care are imperative to rendering quality palliative care in ICUs. Potential disagreements arose during EOL decision-making between doctors and nurses; and insufficient knowledge of ADs should be addressed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)741-747
Number of pages7
JournalInternational journal for quality in health care : journal of the International Society for Quality in Health Care
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Dec 31 2019


  • attitude
  • intensive care units
  • knowledge
  • palliative care
  • perception
  • quality of health care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Perceived quality of palliative care in intensive care units among doctors and nurses in Taiwan'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this