End-of-life decision making frequently occurs in the intensive care unit (ICU). There is a lack of information on how a do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order affects treatments received by critically ill patients in ICUs. The objectives of this study were: (1) to compare the use of life support therapies between patients with a DNR order and those without; (2) to examine life support therapies prior to and after the issuance of a DNR order; and (3) to determine the clinical factors that influence the initiation of a DNR order in ICUs in Taiwan. A prospective, descriptive, and correlational study was conducted. A total of 202 patients comprising 133 (65.8%) who had a DNR order, and 69 (34.1%) who did not, participated in this study. In the last 48 hours of their lives, patients who had a DNR order were less likely to receive life support therapies than those who did not have a DNR order. Older age, being unmarried, the presence of an adult child as a surrogate decision maker, a perceived inability to survive ultimate discharge from the ICU, and longer hospitalization in the ICU were significant predictors of issuing a DNR order for critically ill patients. This study will draw attention to how, when, and by whom, critically ill patients' preferences about DNR are elicited and honored.
- Do not resuscitate
- Intensive care unit
- Life support care
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Issues, ethics and legal aspects