Advance directives: Portuguese palliative care professionals' views

Sandra M. Pereira*, Emília Fradique, Renata Fialho, Manuela Cerqueira, Aurora Pereira, Florbela Sampaio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Advance directives are a controversial subject in Portugal at present, particularly among health professionals. Although some health professionals consider them to be important tools that are helpful in making proper decisions and promoting patient autonomy, others think that they may interfere with the human and relational dimension of care. It is therefore timely to investigate health professionals' views of advance directives in more detail. This study aimed to identify and reflect on Portuguese palliative care professionals' perspectives of advanced directives and their relevance to end-of-life decision making. A qualitative exploratory methodology was adopted in which interviews were conducted with two physicians, six nurses, two psychologists, and one social worker from four palliative care teams based across Portugal. The findings emphasize the relevance of advance directives to ethical decision-making processes in palliative care. However, debates are needed regarding whether advance directives should be legally binding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-380
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Palliative Nursing
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Advance directives
  • Palliative care
  • Professionals' views


Dive into the research topics of 'Advance directives: Portuguese palliative care professionals' views'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this