Date of Award

Spring 1993

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)



Committee Director

Brenda S. Nichols

Committee Member

Linda L. Lilly


The purpose of this study was to establish the identity of a syndrome related to nursing care of the terminally ill patient, regardless of a malignant or non-malignant disease origin. The sample consisted of completed medical records of 15 chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients and 15 cancer patients. The commonalities between the two groups are: (1) Defining Characteristics--dyspnea, anxiety, abnormal breath sounds, dry skin, pale skin, pain, anorexia, presence of pressure sores, incontinence, and generalized edema; (2) Nursing Diagnoses--high risk for altered respiratory function, anxiety (individual and family), skin integrity (impaired and high risk for impaired), altered comfort: pain, high risk for infection: related to intravenous therapy, high risk for injury: trauma (falls), and altered nutrition: less than body requirements; (3) Nursing Interventions--from the above nursing diagnoses associated interventions were studied. Agreement between the two groups in chosen interventions ranged from 27% to 48%. A clustering of data has been documented to support the establishment of Terminal Syndrome.


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Included in

Nursing Commons