Strict visitor restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have been associated with staff moral distress in numerous clinical settings, yet little is known about effects on perceptions of pediatric end-of-life care.
To determine the effect of COVID-19 visitor restrictions on perceptions of quality of dying and death.
This was a cross-sectional survey of interdisciplinary staff caring for dying children in a cardiac intensive care unit with flexible visitation allowances compared with published policies reported in the literature at the time.
No significant difference in perceptions of quality of dying and death was found between the prepandemic and pandemic periods despite similar clinical care provision. The relatively less stringent allowances at end of life did not adversely affect staff risk for infection.
The findings support affording some flexibility to visitation at end of life, which may mitigate negative staff perceptions of quality of dying and death. With the profound effects of COVID-19 on end-of-life care provision, these results may have implications for future global challenges.