To Explore the Neonatal Nurses' Beliefs and Attitudes towards Caring for Dying Neonates in Taiwan

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Niang-Huei Peng, PhD1
Chao-Huei Chen, BS2
Li-Chi Huang, EdD, RN3
Ho-Yu Lee, MS, RN4
Hsin-Li Liu, RN, MSN1
Shu-Ya Wu, MSN, RN5
(1)Nursing department, Nursing College, Central Taiwan University, Taichung, Taiwan
(2)Department of pediatric, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan
(3)School of Nursing, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan
(4)Nursing department, Nursing Department in Chang Bing Show Chwan Memorial Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan
(5)Nursing, Nursing College in Central Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taichung, Taiwan

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to view the attitudes and beliefs of neonatal nurses toward nursing care for dying neonates.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to view eight barriers hindering neonatal palliative care practice in neonatal nurses in Taiwan.


 (1) to explore attitude and beliefs of neonatal nurses toward nursing care for dying neonates; (2) to estimate the influence of neonatal nurses’ personal and professional characteristics on their attitudes towards end-of-life care for dying infants.


 A cross-sectional design was used. A questionnaire was used collected data from 80 neonatal nurses. Research setting was four level III NICUs at four medical centers around the central region of Taiwan. Research participants were neonatal nurses who have had worked for at least one year in one of three level III NICUs and had been directly involved with the care of dying infants.


Research participants were of 80 neonatal nurses (response rate 100%). Research findings identified eight barriers hindering neonatal palliative care practice. These barriers were insufficient communication due to the lack of an in-service educational program; the lack of available counseling help for neonatal clinicians; inability to express personal opinions, values and beliefs towards neonatal palliative care; insufficient staffing; the lack of unit policies/guidelines for supporting palliative care; the technological imperative; parental demands and personal beliefs about death and previous experience caring for dying infants.

Conclusion:  Further studies are needed to explore each barrier and to provide the in-service neonatal palliative care educational programs that are needed to decrease these barriers.