The aim of this study was to investigate current nursing practice related to end-of-life discussions with incurable lung cancer patients and their family caregivers from the perspectives of patients, family caregivers, and nurses in an oncology outpatient clinic. This phenomenological hermeneutic study included nine patients, eight family caregivers, and 11 nurses. Data were collected using participant observation, informal and semi-structured individual or joint interviews with patients and family caregivers, and focus group interviews with nurses. A Ricoeur-inspired approach was used to analyze the data. Three themes were identified: (a) content of end-of-life discussions, (b) timing of end-of-life discussions, and (c) challenges in end-of-life discussions. End-of-life discussions were seldom initiated; when they were, it was often too late. Discussions addressed treatment, place of care, practical/economic concerns, and existential matters. The physical environment at the outpatient clinic, lack of continuity, and nurses’ instrumental task workloads and time pressure posed challenges to initiating end-of-life discussions.
- end-of-life discussions
- family nursing