Efficacy of End-of-life Communication Strategies on Nurses in the Intensive Care Unit


Maebashi Red Cross Hospital




Palliative Care


Other: communication strategy

Study type


Funder types




Details and patient eligibility


Burnout among healthcare workers is frequently reported, and one of the factors cited is the stress caused by end-of-life care. It has been reported that nursing staff experience decreased well-being as a result of being involved in end-of-life care, and this is also true in intensive care units. This decrease in well-being is said to lead to lower quality of care, poor communication with patients and their families, absenteeism, and high turnover. Although palliative care interventions such as education and communication tools have been reported to improve the well-being of healthcare professionals involved in end-of-life care, few reports have evaluated the association with burnout. We investigated whether communication-based palliative interventions in end-of-life care in intensive care units (ICUs) improve the risk of burnout among nurses working in ICUs.

Full description

A before-and-after study was conducted in a single hospital to evaluate burnout risk and satisfaction with end-of-life situations in 2022 (phase 1) and 2023 (phase 2). The Japanese version of the Burnout Scale was used to assess the risk of burnout, and the QODD (Quality of Dying and Death) was used to assess nurse satisfaction. All nurses who agreed to participate received the questionnaire in a sealed envelope, completed it, and returned it anonymously to the principal investigator. Data from those who declined to participate were not recorded. During the first and second phases, an intensive communication strategy on end-of-life practice was implemented based on the framework developed at the International Delphi Conference. The following data were recorded for all participating nurses: age, gender, marital status, years of practice since certification, and years of critical care experience; the following data on ICU status were also collected from the electronic system: total number of patients, length of ICU stay, ICU mortality rate, in-hospital mortality rate, ICU admission APACHE-II score, SOFA score at ICU admission, and medical costs at ICU admission. Continuous variables without normal distribution are shown as median and interquartile range. Categorical data were summarized numerically or as percentages. In univariate analyses, Mann-Whitney's U test was used to compare continuous variables and Fisher's exact test to compare categorical variables. Data were assumed to be missing at random, and no imputation or interpolation of missing values was performed. Statistical tests were two-tailed and statistical significance was set at p<0.05. All statistical analyses were performed using EZR (R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria), a graphical user interface for R. The study was approved by the Maebashi Red Cross Hospital Ethics Committee (ID: 2022-47), which waived the requirement for informed consent from patients and their relatives, given the retrospective and observational nature of the study.


69 patients




Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  • Registered nurses working in our ICU

Exclusion criteria

  • None

Trial design

Primary purpose

Health Services Research



Interventional model

Single Group Assignment


None (Open label)

69 participants in 1 patient group

Nurse prior to intervention
Other group
Other: communication strategy

Trial contacts and locations



Data sourced from clinicaltrials.gov

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