End-of-life care challenges from staff viewpoints in Emergency Departments: Systematic review

Ali Alqahtani1

1Primary Care Clinical Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Herston Campus, Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital, The University of Queensland, ,

The hospital emergency department (ED) is the place where people most commonly seek urgent care. The initial diagnosis of an end-of-life (EOL) condition may occur in the ED. In this review we described the challenges; from the staff members’ perspectives, to safe, appropriate, and high quality end-of-life care (EOLC) for people who are diagnosed with non-malignant diseases who present to ED settings internationally. We conducted a systematic review of peer-reviewed literature. PubMed, Scopus, CINAHL, Medline, and Web of Science were searched from 2007 to 2017. In this review the challenges in providing quality EOLC from staff viewpoints, for EOL people who are diagnosed with non-malignant progressive diseases in ED settings, were classified into eight themes: (1) EOLC education and training, (2) ED design, (3) Lack of family support, (4) Work Load, (5) ED staff communication and decision making, (6) EOLC quality in ED, (7) resource availability (time, space, appropriate interdisciplinary personnel) and (8) integrating palliative care (PC) in ED. The formulation of EOLC using this review result may help to improve the quality of life for dying people by providing ED staff with clear guidelines that can guide them in their daily practice


Ali Alqahtani is a PhD candidate at The University of Queensland, particularly the School of Medicine. He has completed and graduated in bachelor’s degree in Paramedic Science at Flinders University in South Australia. In addition, he completed a master’s degree in Paramedical Science at Edith Cowan University. Ali has joined different emergency organisations. He also has undertaken training in many different emergency procedures that emphasised his skills. Adding to that, he has been a voluntary part of different paramedic teams who are responsible to manage and design emergency care plans in different catastrophic situations across The Middle East.