Long-term care nurses’ perceptions of a good death for people with dementia: A qualitative descriptive study

Katsumi Nasu, Hiroki Fukahori, Mitsunori Miyashita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: The number of people with dementia (PwD) dying in long-term care (LTC) settings is expected to increase. However, effective care strategies to promote a good death for PwD remain unclear. This study aimed to explore nurses’ perceptions of a good death for PwD in LTC settings for older adults. Methods: Interviews were conducted with 19 nurses providing end-of-life care in LTC settings for older adults in Japan. The transcribed texts were analysed using inductive content analysis. Results: We identified two themes: (1) ambiguity and (2) preparedness. Participants perceived that there was ambiguity regarding a good death for PwD and emphasised the need for preparedness of those around PwD for a good death. Five categories represented preparedness: (a) reaffirming the original personality before dementia; (b) respecting that PwD change; (c) interpreting and fulfilling obscure desires, feelings, and sensations; (d) providing care consistent with an agreed-upon natural death process; and (e) maintaining relationships. Conclusion: Long-term care nurses should encourage families and multidisciplinary team members, including the nurses themselves, to prepare for a good death of the PwD. Future research should focus on healthcare professionals’ perspectives on advance care planning in the early stages of dementia, as well as the perceptions of PwD, their family members and other healthcare professionals regarding the natural death process.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12443
JournalInternational Journal of Older People Nursing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022 May


  • content analysis
  • dementia
  • good death
  • long-term care
  • nursing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology


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