Communication During Palliative Care and End of Life: Perceptions of Experienced Pediatric Oncology Nurses

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid



Communication between patients, families, and healthcare providers is a central component of end-of-life care. Nurse communication during palliative care (PC) and end of life (EOL) is a phenomenon with limited research. It is unclear how the level of nursing experience influences the perspectives of nurses communicating during EOL.


The aim of this study is to describe the commonalities of experienced nurses’ perceptions of communicating during PC and EOL and perceptions of barriers and facilitators to effective communication.


This study was part of a larger multisite study that used a qualitative, empirical phenomenology design and represents focus group data gathered from pediatric oncology nurses with more than 5 years of experience or who were advanced practice nurses not involved in the direct evaluation of other nurses.


Five core themes with corresponding themes and subthemes were identified. The core themes included (a) Evolution of PC/EOL, (b) Skill of Knowing, (c) Expanded Essence of Caring, (d) Experienced Nurse as Committed Advocate, and (e) Valuing Individual Response to Grief.


Findings reflect how the concept of experience transcended the 5 core themes and captured how experience provided nurses the know-how to fulfill the roles of communication, caring, and advocacy for children and families.

Implications for Practice:

Enhancing nurse communication skills during EOL requires opportunities to gain experience coupled with clinical strategies, such as standardized curricula, simulation, competency-based orientation programs, mentorship, and peer support.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles