BMJ Support Palliat Care 3:262 doi:10.1136/bmjspcare-2013-000491.93
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  1. L P Wong2
  1. 1Department of Nursing Science, Faculty of Medicine University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA
  2. 2Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA


Background Critical care units (ICU) have been designed to provide highly skilled, lifesaving care for patients with acute illnesses or injuries. The mortality rate in the ICU still remains as a high rate comparing to the general word (Steinhauser et al., 2002). Having a good quality of end of life care (EOLC) is a common wish for patients who dying in the ICU. Quality of EOLC is the most popular measure to evaluate the quality of care provided to critically ill patients in the critical care units.

Aim This paper aimed to systematically review original studies of quality of EOLC and appraise their quality.

Method Only the original Studies that concerned on the quality of EOLC were included. Words like quality of EOLC, quality of dying and death were used to search in Midline and Ovid online data bases.

Result Forty-nine studies met the selection criteria. These 31 quantitative, 16 qualitative and 2 mixed method studies identified different level of satisfaction to the quality of EOLC.

Discussion The quality of EOLC still need to improve and barriers such as communication, lack of education and experiences, pain management, high expectations of families and environmental circumstances stile hindered the quality of EOLC.

Conclusion different studies were conducted using different measures and methods to understand the quality of EOLC; however, further studies to identify the best strategies to improve EOLC are needed.

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