Describing perceptions and experiences of undergraduate nursing students regarding death and dying in palliative care setting

Document Type



School of Nursing and Midwifery, Pakistan


Background:Nurses in palliative care settings go through a wide range of experiences, therefore, they are able to provide an insight into death and dying related experiences explicitly.
Objective:This study aimed to explore the perceptions and experiences of nurses about providing palliative care to patients and their family members.
Method:A descriptive study design was used. The study was approved by the university ethics committee and the informed signed consent was obtained from the participants. Participants enrolled in the study (n=41) were divided into six groups for focus group discussion generated through using an interview guide. These discussions were recorded, transcribed and analyzed in themes, sub-themes and categories.
Findings:The study findings highlighted the following main themes: the attitude of nurses, ethical dilemmas and readiness of nurses for providing palliative care to their patients as well as families. In Pakistan, palliative care is in infancy and requires improvement in the infrastructure of the current health care system, which includes healthcare delivery policies, palliative care models and trained staff to support patients and their families. Pakistan is a way behind in multidisciplinary pain management approach and provision of morphine. Moreover, due to large and extended families, all family members do not have a clear picture of their patient's condition and this creates further conflict.
Conclusion: The participants highlighted the importance of preparing nurses for providing palliative care and dealing with dying patients and their family members. Thus, it is required that palliative nursing course should be included in medical and nursing curriculum.


Journal of Palliative Care & Medicine