Over 3000 young people die of chronic illnesses annually in the United States. Health care providers often struggle to include these patients in end-of-life planning. The purpose of this inquiry is to examine the current literature addressing the inclusion of adolescents and young adults in decision-making at the end-of-life. A systematic search of the electronic databases PubMed, Scopus, CINAHL, ISI, and Cochrane revealed 9 articles relevant to this topic. The results show that adolescents and young adults want to be included in end-of-life decisions and often have similar values as their parents and providers when making these decisions. The major limitations are the limited population sample of the studies, in terms of size and patient characteristics, and inconsistencies with the ages of participants in the studies. Ideas for further research, in addition to implications for clinical practice will be discussed in this paper.
Berger, Rebecca S.
"Including Adolescents and Young Adults in Decisions at the End-of-Life,"
Journal of Student Nursing Research:
1, Article 3.
Available at: http://repository.upenn.edu/josnr/vol5/iss1/3