Evid Based Nurs 5:64 doi:10.1136/ebn.5.2.64
  • Qualitative

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

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


Grounded theory.


Madison, Wisconsin, USA.


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.


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 understand their situations and make realistic decisions.

Main findings

Providers' strategies aimed to help patients achieve a good death (eg, comfortable and …

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