Nursing strategies to reduce the risk of therapeutic obstinacy in artificial nutrition

Tânia dos Santos Afonso*, Filipa Veludo, Patrícia Pontífice Sousa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Nurses have an important role in maintaining a patient's nutrition near the end of life. Aims: To define nursing nutrition strategies with the person near the end of life and their families; systematise the elements to be considered in artificial nutrition decision-making and evaluate the nursing interventions' influence on therapeutic obstinacy risk. Methods: A sample of 11 articles were selected and the results considered strategies to promote oral feeding before artificial nutrition; the follow-up of the health-disease process by nurses and described the nurse's role as a privileged patient advocate in the defence of the ethical principles of decision-making. These principles consider symptomatology, prognosis, psychology and the emotional significance of nutrition. Conclusion: Nurses are qualified professionals with a critical role in the patient's care due to the proximity they have with the patient; the evidence seems to show a relationship between nursing interventions and the reduction of the risk of therapeutic obstinacy; however, there are no studies in this specific area.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)224-231
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Palliative Nursing
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2019


  • Integrative review
  • Nursing
  • Nutritional support
  • Terminal care
  • Therapeutic obstinacy


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