Journal List > J Korean Acad Nurs Adm > v.25(1) > 1115964

Jeon and Park: Relationship of ICU Nurses' Difficulties in End-of-Life Care to Moral Distress, Burnout and Job Satisfaction



The aim of this study was to identify the relationships between the difficulty of end-of-life care and moral distress, burnout and job satisfaction of nurses working in intensive care units (ICUs).


This descriptive study was conducted using self-report questionnaires. Participants were nurses who had more than one year of ICU experience and were recruited from three university hospitals (N=168).


The mean scores for ICU nurses' difficulty in end-of-life care, moral distress, burnout and job satisfaction were 3.42, 113.88, 3.16 and 2.58 points, respectively. Difficulty in end-of-life care was positively correlated with moral distress (r=.48, p<.001) and burnout (r=.26, p=.001) and was negatively correlated with job satisfaction (r=−.17, p=.024). Difficulties in end-of-life was identified as a predictor of moral distress (β=.44, p<.001), burnout (β=.26, p=.001) and job satisfaction (β=−.18, p=.024).


The results of this study suggest the following: it is important to have a deep understanding of ICU nurses who experience various difficulties in end-of-life care and to provide realist support for these nurses. And practical efforts by nursing organizations are needed, including support systems and education programs to alleviate ICU nurses' difficulties in end-of-life care.

Figures and Tables

Table 1

Difficulties in End-of-Life Care, Moral Distress, Burnout and Job Satisfaction according to General Characteristics (N=168)


a,b,c,d=Scheffé test; *There was no significant difference in burn out and job satisfaction according to general characteristics; MICU=Medial intensive care unit; SICU=Surgical intensive care unit; NCU=Neurological intensive care unit; CCU=Cardiac intensive care unit.

Table 2

Level of Difficulties in End-of-Life Care, Moral Distress, Burn Out and Job Satisfaction (N=168)

Table 3

Correlations between Difficulties in End-of-Life Care, Moral Distress, Burnout and Job Satisfaction (N=168)

Table 4

Relationships of Difficulties in End-of-Life Care to Moral Distress (N=168)

Table 5

Relationship of Difficulties in End-of-Life Care to Burnout and Job Satisfaction (N=168)



This article is a condensed form of the first author's master's thesis from College of Nursing, the Catholic University of Korea.


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Kkot Bi Jeon

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