Transforming the Intensive Care Culture Using the Palliative Approach


  • Diane Guay Université de Sherbrooke
  • Cécile Michaud Université de Sherbrooke
  • Luc Mathieu Université de Montréal
  • Jacinthe Pepin Université de Montréal



intensive care, palliative approach


Introduction: Although the ultimate goal of the intensive care unit (ICU) is to save and prolong human life, the integration of palliative care approach in this fast-paced highly technologic environment is increasingly recognized as a means of restoring the global nature of care and enhances the integrity of the person. In this perspective, a recent study showed that three conditions promote the integration of palliative care in the ICU: sharing a common vision, a collaborative decision-making process and a proper environment.

Objective: In light of these findings, this study proposes to develop, implement and evaluate an intervention to integrate these previously identified conditions. The purpose of this communication is to present our approach and its main results.

Method: Based on the premise that research and action can coexist to improve practice, a qualitative inquiry of action research was chosen for this study. Valuing the consensual decision-making process, this research method provides an organizational structure allowing success and sustainability of this intervention.

Results: The intervention aims to improve the quality of interdisciplinary communication and consisted of two main components. The first propose to enhance the skills and leadership of nurses through interactive training and the second focused on the improvement of intra and inter disciplinary intervention plan.

Conclusions: The integration of the palliative care approach in the ICU is definitely an innovative strategy to transform the mission of the ICU caregivers and improve the care of the whole person.

Author Biographies

Diane Guay, Université de Sherbrooke

Cécile Michaud, Université de Sherbrooke

Luc Mathieu, Université de Montréal

Jacinthe Pepin, Université de Montréal



How to Cite

Guay, D., Michaud, C., Mathieu, L., & Pepin, J. (2014). Transforming the Intensive Care Culture Using the Palliative Approach. The International Journal of Whole Person Care, 1(1).