Nurses' experiences of supporting patients requesting voluntary assisted dying: A qualitative meta-synthesis

Sandham, Margaret and Carey, Melissa ORCID: and Hedgecock, Emma and Jarden, Rebecca (2022) Nurses' experiences of supporting patients requesting voluntary assisted dying: A qualitative meta-synthesis. Journal of Advanced Nursing. ISSN 0309-2402

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Aim: Describe the reported lived experiences of nurses who have participated at any stage of voluntary assisted dying (VAD), from the initial request to the end of life. Design: A qualitative meta-synthesis. Data sources: Databases searched were CINAHL, MEDLINE, Emcare, Scopus and PsycInfo. The search was undertaken in September 2021 with no date limitations. Qualitative studies were considered if published in English, reported primary data analysis of nurses' experiences who had been involved in VAD and reported direct quotes from nurses. Review methods: Qualitative studies meeting the selection criteria were critically appraised, then an open card-sort method was applied. Quotes from nurses were organized to group similar experiences, constructing themes and metaphors across studies as a new understanding of nurses' experiences of VAD. Results: Eight studies were included. Three major themes were constructed: An orderly procedure, reflecting the need for structure to feel adequately prepared; A beautiful death, reflecting the autonomy the patient exercised when choosing VAD facilitated an exceptionally positive death; and Psychological and emotional impact, where nurses recognized the emotional and ethical weight that they carried for them-selves and the team when undertaking VAD. Conclusion: Nurses may benefit from clear policy, supervision and communication training to support them as countries transition to providing VAD services. Policy provides nurses with confidence that they are undertaking the steps of VAD correctly and provides a layer of emotional protection. Communication training specific to VAD is necessary to prepare nurses to recognize their own emotional experiences when responding to the needs of the patient and their family. Impact: VAD is increasingly becoming a legal option that nurses are encountering in their professional practice. Understanding nurses' experiences of being involved in VAD is required to support nurses in countries where VAD is becoming available to prepare professionally and psychologically.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2022 03:56
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2022 03:56
Uncontrolled Keywords: Assisted Dying, End of Life, Nurses Experiences
Fields of Research (2020): 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420316 Palliative care
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4205 Nursing > 420505 Nursing workforce
50 PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES > 5001 Applied ethics > 500106 Medical ethics
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 20 HEALTH > 2003 Provision of health and support services > 200309 Palliative care
20 HEALTH > 2003 Provision of health and support services > 200307 Nursing
23 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 2305 Work and labour market > 230506 Workplace safety
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