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Identifying Perceptions of Health Professionals Regarding Deathbed Visions and Spiritual Care in End-of-Life Care: A Delphi Consensus Study

Chang, Sung Ok PhD, RN; Ahn, Soo Yeon PhD, RN; Cho, Myung-Ok PhD, RN; Choi, Kyung Sook PhD, RN; Kong, Eun Suk PhD, RN; Kim, Chun-Gill PhD, RN; Kim, Hee Kyung PhD, RN; Lee, Young Whee PhD, RN; Song, Misoon PhD, RN; Kim, Nam Cho PhD, RN

Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing: April 2017 - Volume 19 - Issue 2 - p 177–184
doi: 10.1097/NJH.0000000000000328
Feature Articles

The final hours before death can be the most significant time for the dying. Adequate preparation for death can help reduce patients’ fears. Research on end-of-life experiences suggests that deathbed visions are not uncommon, but many doctors and nurses find this a difficult subject to approach. A 2-round Delphi method was used to gain a reliable consensus on deathbed visions from experts in end-of-life care. A purposive sample of nurses (n = 18) and doctors (n = 13) was invited from across hospitals and nursing homes to participate in this study. In this Delphi evaluation, the health professionals’ perceptions of the deathbed visions experienced by patients were identified, as well as how these phenomena should be integrated into spiritual care. The research found that healthcare professionals who are experts in end-of-life care tend to remain at the end-of-life care setting while acknowledging human spirituality as part of a peaceful death. However, they tend to not make conclusions about how death visions should be classified. This Delphi study was an attempt to identify a consensus on spiritual care including deathbed visions in end-of-life care among healthcare professionals.

Sung Ok Chang, PhD, RN, is professor, College of Nursing, Korea University, Seoul.

Soo Yeon Ahn, PhD, RN, is professor, Division of Nursing, Hallym University, Chuncheon, Republic of Korea.

Myung-Ok Cho, PhD, RN, is professor, Department of Nursing, Dong-Eui University, Busan, Republic of Korea.

Kyung Sook Choi, PhD, RN, is professor emeritus, Department of Nursing, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Eun Suk Kong, PhD, RN, is professor, Department of Nursing, Jesus University, Jeonju, Republic of Korea.

Chun-Gill Kim, PhD, RN, is professor, Division of Nursing, Hallym University, Chuncheon, Republic of Korea.

Hee Kyung Kim, PhD, RN, is professor, Department of Nursing, Kongju National University, Republic of Korea.

Young Whee Lee, PhD, RN, is professor, Department of Nursing, Inha University, Incheon, Republic of Korea.

Misoon Song, PhD, RN, Professor, College of Nursing, Seoul National University, Republic of Korea.

Nam Cho Kim, PhD, RN, Professor, College of Nursing, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul.

Address correspondence to Nam Cho Kim, PhD, RN, College of Nursing, The Catholic University of Korea, 222 Banpo-daero, Seocho-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea (kncpjo@catholic.ac.kr).

The authors wish to acknowledge the financial support of the Catholic Medical Center Research Foundation for the 2015 academic year.

© 2017 by The Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association.