Issues Regarding End-of-Life Care for Infants and Children in Thailand

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Jutarat Mesukko, PhD
Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH

Learning Objective 1: describe the quality of children dying and death, and barriers and facilitators of end-of-life care in Thai ICUs.

Learning Objective 2: distinguish similarities and differences faced by nurse providing end-of-life care in Thailand and the United State America.

Purpose: The purposes of this study are to: 1) describe the quality of dying and death, and the intensity and frequency of barriers and facilitators to providing end-of-life care in ICUs from the perception of Thai critical care nurses; 2) explore relationships among relationships among levels of quality of dying and death, intensity of barriers, and intensity of facilitators; and 3) seek suggestions to improve end-of-life care Thai ICUs.

Methods: A descriptive correlational design was used. A convenience sample of Thai ICU nurses with at least 12-months work experience caring for pediatric patients was recruited from two hospitals. Self-administered anonymous questionnaires were distributed to the sample with reminder notices given at 10 and 20 days. Standardized questionnaires measuring quality of dying and death, frequency and intensity of barriers and facilitators were modified and translated into Thai using back-translation. Content validity index of adapted questionnaires ranged .88-.96 when judged by a panel of bilingual experts. Pilot testing in 15 Thai ICU nurses demonstrated acceptable internal consistency reliability prior to use in the larger sample. Open-ended questions were used to elicit suggestions for improving end-of-life care.

Results: The sample consists of 129 Thai nurses recruited from the pediatric and neonatal intensive care units. Data entry is completed; data analysis is underway. Analysis will include descriptive statistics, Pearson correlation coefficients and multiple regression. Responses to open-ended questions will be analyzed using content analysis.

Conclusion: Findings from this study will inform Thai care providers, policy makers, and administrators to improve EOL care for infants and children.