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Family Members’ Perceptions of Most Helpful Interventions During End-of-Life Care

Cronin, Julie MSN, RN, OCN; Arnstein, Paul PhD, RN, FAAN; Flanagan, Jane PhD, ANP-BC

Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing: May/June 2015 - Volume 17 - Issue 3 - p 223–228
doi: 10.1097/NJH.0000000000000151
Feature Articles

The aim of the study was to explore the following research question: What are the perceived needs of family members/friends while their loved one is receiving end-of-life care while in the hospital setting? This was a qualitative descriptive study using semistructured open-ended interview questions and content analysis. Seven family members or friends participated in this study. Four themes were identified. Results suggest that vigilance in the provision of nursing care for patients at the end of life provides family with a sense of being cared for and eases their feelings of uncertainty and anxiety. Support for family members and validation of difficult decision making is a vital component of communication, which is essential to increase family members’ levels of comfort and trust in the health care team.

Julie Cronin, MSN, RN, OCN, is clinical nurse specialist, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.

Paul Arnstein, PhD, RN, FAAN, is clinical nurse specialist, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.

Jane Flanagan, PhD, ANP-BC, is nurse scientist, Yvonne L. Munn Nursing Research Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.

Address correspondence to Julie Cronin, MSN, RN, OCN, 55 Fruit Street, Boston, MA 02114 (

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

© 2015 by The Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association.