Role of the community matron in advance care planning and ‘do not attempt CPR’ decision-making: a qualitative study

Kazmierski, M. and King, N. Role of the community matron in advance care planning and ‘do not attempt CPR’ decision-making: a qualitative study. British Journal of Community Nursing Vol 20 No 1 January 2015 p19–24


The community matron (CM) is often the key worker caring for patients with chronic, lifelimiting, long-term conditions, but these patients are not always recognised as palliative cases.

This study explored the experiences of CMs with regard to advance care planning (ACP) and ‘do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation’ (DNACPR) decision-making to understand whether or not they felt adequately prepared for this aspect of their role, and why.

Qualitative data were generated from six CMs using a broad interpretive phenomenological approach. Face-to-face recorded interviews were analysed using template analysis.

The study found that although participants faced complex ethical situations around ACP and DNACPR almost on a daily basis, none had received any formal training despite the emphasis on training in national and local guidelines. Participants often struggled to get their patients accepted on to the Gold Standards Framework. The research found variability and complexity of cases to be the main barriers to clear identification of the palliative phase.

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