Receiving the news of a loved one’s death
can cause extreme anxiety reactions. Breaking death
news according to the setting, patient perception, invitation, knowledge, empathy, and strategy (SPIKES) protocol could be effective in alleviating this anxiety. This study aimed to determine the effect of using the SPIKES protocol for delivering the news of patient mortality to the deceased’s family members on their anxiety symptoms. This non-randomized controlled intervention study was carried out on the ۶۰ families of the patients who died in Imam Reza Hospital of Mashhad, Iran. The subjects (i.e., next of kin or close family members) were divided into two groups of ۳۰ cases. In the control group, the nurse
conveyed the news of death
using her routine method. In the intervention group, this task was performed according to the SPIKES protocol. After delivering the news, the nurse
assessed the level of anxiety in the recipient of the news by filling out an inventory of visual symptoms of anxiety. The Mann-Whitney U test showed that the mean anxiety score in the intervention group (۳۱.۲±۱۱.۷) was significantly lower than that of the control group (۶۳.۴±۱۸.۱) (p <۰.۰۰۱). Since the findings revealed that the SPIKES protocol reduced the level of anxiety in the recipients of bad news, it is essential to apply this protocol in nurse
education and training courses in Iran.