Indian Journal of Palliative Care
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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 363--367

Hospital workers' confidence for end-of-life decisions in their family: A multicenter study

1 Dorrington Medical Associated, Houston, Texas, USA; Faculty of Medicine, Universidad Popular Autonoma del Estado de Puebla, Puebla, Mexico
2 Dorrington Medical Associated, Houston, Texas, USA; Faculty of Medicine, Universidad Autonoma de Baja California, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico
3 School of Medicine, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel
4 Dorrington Medical Associated, Houston, Texas, USA

Correspondence Address:
Joseph Varon
2219, Dorrington Street, Houston, TX 77030
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJPC.IJPC_21_17

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Aims: To study whether health-care workers feel capable of making resuscitation decisions for their own families, the confidence in their family to represent their own preferences, and if some health-care workers feel greater confidence in their ability to undertake such decisions for their family than others. Methods: An anonymous survey conducted among health-care workers of nine institutions in North and Central America. The self-administered questionnaire included demographic and professional characteristics, attitudes, personal preferences, and value judgments on the topic of resuscitation. Results: Eight hundred and fifty-eight surveys were completed; 21.1% by physicians, 37.2% by nurses, and 41.7% by other health-care. Most of the health-care workers (83.5%) stated that they should be unable to determine their own code status and they would allow their family or spouse/significant other to make this decision for themselves. Physicians felt significantly more capable of making a decision regarding the code status of a close family member than other hospital workers (P = 0.019). Professionals who chose to not undergo cardiopulmonary resuscitation were less likely to feel capable of determining the code status of their family. Conclusions: Most of the health-care workers feel capable of making code status decisions for a close family member and most feel equally comfortable having their family or spouse/significant other represent their code status preference should they be incapacitated. There is considerable reciprocity between the two situations. Physicians feel more confident in their ability to make code status decisions for their loved ones than other health-care workers. Regardless of profession, a personal preference for do not attempt resuscitation status is related to less confidence.


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