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Family-Clinician Communication About End-of-Life Care in Korea: A Narrative Review

Jo, Minjeong PhD, RN; Yoo, Yang-Sook PhD; Knafl, George PhD; Van Riper, Marcia PhD, RN, FAAN; Beeber, Linda PhD, RN, CS; Song, Mi-Kyung PhD, RN, FAAN

Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing: December 2017 - Volume 19 - Issue 6 - p 597–601
doi: 10.1097/NJH.0000000000000395
Feature Articles

Effective communication between family members and clinicians is one of the most important factors in end-of-life care, yet little is known about the extent of such communication in Korea. The purpose of this review was to describe the state of the science in family-clinician communication about end-of-life care in Korea, including the timing of communication, family members’ communication needs, and perceived communication quality. The family-physician communication about do-not-resuscitate decision typically occurred near the patient’s death. Receiving sufficient information about patient care was one of the top priorities of family members at the end of life, yet such needs were not met. Physicians and nurses reported they lack communication skills to provide information about patients’ prognosis and end-of-life treatment options effectively. While empirical data are limited, our review suggests that family-clinician communication at the end of life in Korea is inadequate. This review provides an insight about the ways clinicians communicate with family members at the end of life in Korea, which may be helpful to determine components of communication that need to be improved.

Minjeong Jo, PhD, RN, is instructor, College of Nursing, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul.

Yang-Sook Yoo, PhD, is professor, College of Nursing, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul.

George Knafl, PhD, is professor, School of Nursing, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Marcia Van Riper, PhD, RN, FAAN, is professor, School of Nursing, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Linda Beeber, PhD, RN, CS, is professor, School of Nursing, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Mi-Kyung Song, PhD, RN, FAAN, is professor, Center for Nursing Excellence in Palliative Care, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.

Address correspondence to Minjeong Jo, PhD, RN, College of Nursing, The Catholic University of Korea, 222 Banpo-daero, Seocho-gu, Seoul 06591, South Korea (mjfaina@gmail.com).

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

© 2017 by The Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association.