Intensive care staff, the donation request and relatives' satisfaction with the decision: a focus group study
SourceBMC Anesthesiology, 14, (2014), article 52
Article / Letter to editor
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Primary and Community Care
SubjectRadboudumc 0: Other Research RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 0: Other Research RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences; Radboudumc 11: Renal disorders RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 1: Alzheimer`s disease DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience
BACKGROUND: Effectiveness of the donation request is generally measured by consent rates, rather than by relatives' satisfaction with their decision. Our aim was to elicit Dutch ICU staffs' views and experiences with the donation request, to investigate their awareness of (dis)satisfaction with donation decisions by relatives, specifically in the case of refusal, and to collect advice that may leave more relatives satisfied with their decision. METHODS: Five focus groups with a total of 32 participants (IC physicians, IC nurses and transplant coordinators) from five university hospitals in the Netherlands. Transcripts were examined using standard qualitative methods. RESULTS: Four themes (donation request perceived by ICU staff from the perspective of relatives; donation request perceived by ICU staff from their own perspective; aftercare; donation in society) divided into 14 categories were identified. According to ICU staff, relatives mentioned their own values more frequently than values of the potential donor as important for the decision. ICU staff observed this imbalance, but reacted empathically to the relatives' point of view. ICU staff rarely suggested reconsideration of refusal and did not ask relatives for arguments. ICU staff did not always feel comfortable with a request in the delicate context of brain death. Sometimes the interests of patient, relatives and those on the waiting list were irreconcilable. ICU staff were mostly unaware of relatives' regret following their decisions. Aftercare did not provide this type of information. Donation request by IC physicians was influenced by the way organ donation has been regulated in society (law, donor register, education, media). CONCLUSIONS: Our findings lead to the hypothesis that giving relatives more time and inviting them to reconsider their initial refusal will lead to a more stable decision and possibly more consent.
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