An Analysis of the Phenomenon of Deterioration in the Critically Ill

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An exploratory clinical investigation using qualitative methodology was conducted to identify and characterize the phenomenon of “deterioration” as it occurs among critically ill patients. Six purposively selected, critical care nurses were interviewed regarding their personal, practice‐based experience with deterioration. Subjective and objective manifestations of the phenomenon emerged, suggesting a recognizable pattern of empirical descriptors. Deterioration may be identified as a significant process of transition and health‐illness patterning, indicating a change in an individual's trajectory toward death. This change can be perceived and is often acted on by experienced critical care nurses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-15
Number of pages4
JournalImage: the Journal of Nursing Scholarship
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1988

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