Humanity behind the intention of primary caregiver to choose withdrawing life-sustaining treatment for terminating patients

Ya Chin Chen, El Wui Loh, Tsai Wei Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: Mechanical ventilation, a measure of life-sustaining treatment (LST), may not be helpful and can be devastating for patients with terminal illness. We explored the effects of demographic characteristics, attitude, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control on the behavioral intentions of primary caregivers to withdraw LST of long-term ventilator-dependent patients. Methods: Primary caregivers of ventilator-dependent patients in the respiratory care units of six hospitals participated in the study. A cross-sectional design including the domains of attitude, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control, and behavioral intention was adopted. Results: Valid data for 99 participants were analyzed using logistic regression. Religious belief, a spousal relationship with the patient, item 5 in subjective norms, and item 5 in perceived behavioral control positively influenced the intention to withdraw patient LST. Conclusions: Religious beliefs, a spousal relationship, perceived behavioral control (confidence in relieving patient suffering), and the opportunity of current favorable subjective norms are major determinants of the intention to withdraw patients’ LST. Practice Implications: Shared decision-making with the kin and primary caregivers of long-term ventilator-dependent patients at the end of life is crucial.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020

Keywords

  • End of life
  • Life-sustaining treatment
  • Planned behavior
  • Shared decision-making
  • Ventilator-dependent patients

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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