Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 17, Issue 10, pp 1793–1801 | Cite as

To Explore the Neonatal Nurses’ Beliefs and Attitudes Towards Caring for Dying Neonates in Taiwan

  • Chao-Huei Chen
  • Li-Chi Huang
  • Hsin-Li Liu
  • Ho-Yu Lee
  • Shu-Ya Wu
  • Yue-Cune Chang
  • Niang-Huei PengEmail author


(1) To explore attitudes and beliefs of neonatal nurses toward nursing care for dying neonates; (2) to estimate the influence of neonatal nurses’ personal and professional characteristics on their attitudes towards end-of life care for dying infants. A cross-sectional design was used. A questionnaire was used to collect data from 80 neonatal nurses. Research setting was four level III NICUs at four medical centers around the central region of Taiwan. Research participants were neonatal nurses who had worked for at least 1 year in one of level III NICUs and had been directly involved with the care of dying infants. Research participants were 80 neonatal nurses (response rate 100 %). Research findings identified eight barriers hindering neonatal palliative care practice. These barriers were insufficient communication due to the lack of an in-service educational program; the lack of available counseling help for neonatal clinicians; inability to express personal opinions, values and beliefs towards neonatal palliative care; insufficient staffing; the lack of unit policies/guidelines for supporting palliative care; the technological imperative; parental demands and personal beliefs about death and previous experience caring for dying infants. Further studies are needed to explore each barrier and to provide in-service neonatal palliative care educational programs that are needed to decrease these barriers.


Neonatal palliative care Neonatal nurses Experience Attitude Belief Dying infant 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chao-Huei Chen
    • 1
  • Li-Chi Huang
    • 2
    • 6
  • Hsin-Li Liu
    • 3
  • Ho-Yu Lee
    • 4
  • Shu-Ya Wu
    • 3
  • Yue-Cune Chang
    • 5
  • Niang-Huei Peng
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Division of NeonatologyTaichung Veterans General HospitalTaichungTaiwan, Republic of China
  2. 2.School of NursingChina Medical UniversityTaichungTaiwan, Republic of China
  3. 3.Nursing CollegeCentral Taiwan University of Science and TechnologyBetiun District, TaichungTaiwan, Republic of China
  4. 4.Nursing DepartmentChang Bing Show Chwan Memorial HospitalChang-HuaTaiwan, Republic of China
  5. 5.Department of MathematicsTamkang UniversityTamsuiTaiwan, Republic of China
  6. 6.China Medical University HospitalTaichungTaiwan, Republic of China

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