Do-not-resuscitate discussions: a qualitative analysis.

W. Ventres, M. Nichter, R. Reed, R. Frankel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The literature to date on Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) decision-making is based upon data derived from structured questionnaires, hypothetical scenarios, descriptive epidemiology, or simulated discussions. Lacking in the literature has been a critical examination of the health care professional-patient-family relationship and its impact on decision-making regarding resuscitation. The purpose of this study is to identify and describe organizational and communication factors that affect the process and outcome of DNR discussions and decision-making. Individual and focus-group interviews were conducted with sixteen key informants professionally knowledgeable about resuscitative issues. Thematic analysis of these interviews revealed that a variety of cultural and professional values, as well as previous personal experiences, influenced the assumptions that providers made when engaging in DNR decision-making. Specific recommendations are made to help family physicians identify communication strategies that foster understanding and lead to participatory decisions about resuscitation among patients and families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-169
Number of pages13
JournalThe Family practice research journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1992


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