Nurse’s intervention – end of life nutrition approach protocol

Tânia S. Afonso*, Filipa Veludo, Patrícia P. Sousa, Dulce Oliveira

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review



Background: To know that nutrition in the present society is increasingly associated with life maintenance and comfort, helps us to understand the complexity of this subject when approached the end of life. Artificial nutrition remains controversial in a palliative context, given the questioning about the quality of life that offers [1]. Protocols help nurses in the decision-making process and increasing their competences. Objective: To present an end-of-life nutrition approach protocol for palliative care. Methods: This study is the result of three integrative literature reviews that intended to measure: which nursing interventions promote end of life nutrition in people without artificial nutrition criteria?; what are the evaluation criteria for the end-of-life person for the nurse’s decision-making of start, don’t start or suspending artificial nutrition?; does the nurse’s interventions towards the end-of-life reduce the risk of therapeutic obstinacy associated with artificial nutrition? Based in Buckman & Spikes Communication Protocol [2], the results were integrated in a protocol form and submitted to the opinion of 13 experts, from 18th October to 6th November 2017, and the respective changes were made. Inclusion criteria of experts were: being health professionals; palliative care experience and/or work development in nutrition subjects. Results: Our experts have on average 37 years old; 10 carry out their activity in Palliative settings, 8 of these have advanced training in Palliative Care. Our protocol considers: I) setting - preparing the environment; II) perception - prior knowledge of the person/family information about nutrition, preferences and considerations regarding the future commitment of feeding and active listening, understanding what the person/family wants to know, especially as to the meaning of nutrition, what that moment represents and invite them to address the subject; III) knowledge - provide adequate information in phases, contextualizing the present symptoms in the disease process (prognosis) and discuss the evaluation criteria before starting artificial nutrition; IV) emotions – attend to the emotions and provide realistic hope; V) strategy – interventions from the patient’s needs are presented in an algorithm form, promoting oral feeding as long as possible. In all process, the person and family autonomy in decision making is preserved. At each step, we identified an element to avoid in the communication process [1,2]. Conclusions: The set of nurse’s interventions in end-of-life nutrition approach systematizes the elements to be considered in decision-making and guarantees the importance of nurses' contribution in risk reduction of therapeutic obstinacy.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberP82
Pages (from-to)131-131
Number of pages1
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2018
Event4th IPLeiria’s International Health Congress - Leiria, Portugal
Duration: 11 May 201812 May 2018


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