Palliative Care in Neonatal Intensive Care Units: Challenges and Solutions


1 Assistant professor, Meybod Nursing School, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran

2 School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

3 Meybod Nursing School, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran


Palliative care is a series of actions aiming to offer support to parents and their infants in order to improve their quality of life. Despite optimal outcomes, the provision of palliative care for infants and achieving these outcomes may be hardly feasible. The present study aimed to investigate the barriers to palliative care and gain insight into the solutions. Accordingly, the obstacles were identified and classified into three categories of parent-related barriers (parental request for continuing treatment, cultural background, and religious beliefs), barriers concerning healthcare providers (attitude toward palliative care, death, and life values, religious beliefs, knowledge and skills in palliative care, and ethical distress), and barriers within the healthcare system (unclear policies regarding the implementation of palliative care, inadequate support from caretakers, lack of educational programs, insufficient personnel, unprepared environment, lack of technological requirements, and lack of access to consultants). Each category was discussed, and relevant solutions were provided.


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