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A One Hour Teaching Intervention Can Improve End-of-Life Care
Nurse Education Today (2018)
  • Mary P Bennett
  • Sherry Lovan
  • Kathy Hager
  • Linda Canonica
  • Barbara Taylor
Background: It is not known if standard nursing actions are tailored to patient preferences for
comfort measures during End of Life (EOL) care.

Objectives: Determine the effect of a brief teaching intervention on student care of EOL

Design: Pre-test/post-test intervention design.

Settings: Two large public universities and one smaller private Catholic institution (all in the
United States [U.S.]).

Participants: 471 nursing students attending class as part of their required nursing curriculum.
Methods: A previously developed aggressiveness of nursing care scale was modified to
determine students’ behavioral intentions for the care of the EOL patient before and after a
standardized lecture. The lecture was designed to help students recognize that nursing care
priorities for the EOL patient may need to be different than for other patients in order to provide
the best quality of remaining life.

Results: Nursing students prior to the lecture had aggressiveness of care scores similar to those
of experienced staff nurses, and were more likely to provide more aggressive care to younger
patients without DNR orders than to older patients with a DNR order. Following the lecture,
aggressiveness of nursing care scores decreased significantly for all EOL patients, and students
reported similar behavioral intentions for all EOL patients, regardless of patient age or code
status. Student age was marginally related to change in behavior following the lecture. Prior
experience in caring for a dying patient or relative did not have a significant effect on
aggressiveness of care scores before or after the lecture.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates the effectiveness of a brief teaching intervention to help
student nurses take patient preferences and needs into consideration when selecting nursing
interventions for the EOL patient.
  • EOL
Publication Date
May, 2018
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Citation Information
Mary P. Bennett, Sherry Lovan, Kathy Hager, Linda Canonica, Barbara Taylor , A one hour teaching intervention can improve end-of-life care Ynedt(2018), doi:10.1016/j.nedt.2018.05.010