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Providers tried to help patients and families make realistic end of life decisions

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QUESTION: What are the strategies used by providers to assist terminally ill patients and their families in shifting from curative to palliative treatment choices?

Design

Grounded theory.

Setting

Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

Participants

10 nurses and 5 physicians (12 women and 3 men) who were working in the practice areas of home health and family practice, oncology, and intensive care.

Methods

Each provider was interviewed once, and 3 providers were interviewed a second time. The interviews were 30–90 minutes in length, and were tape recorded and transcribed verbatim. Analysis was done after each interview and the questions in subsequent interviews became increasingly focused on evolving categories. Theoretical sampling was built into the interviews with questions designed to determine the types of strategies providers use to assist patients to …

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