Strategies to increase appropriateness of EoL care, such as shared decision making (SDM), and advance care planning (ACP) are internationally embraced, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. However, individuals preferences regarding EoL care may differ internationally. Current literature lacks insight in how preferences in EoL care differ between countries and continents. This study's aim is to compare Dutch and Japanese general publics attitudes and preferences toward EoL care, and EoL decisions.
Methods: a cross-sectional survey design was chosen. The survey was held among samples of the Dutch and Japanese general public, using a Nationwide social research panel of 220.000 registrants in the Netherlands and 1.200.000 in Japan. A quota sampling was done (age, gender, and living area). N = 1.040 in each country.
More Japanese than Dutch citizens tend to avoid thinking in advance about future situations of dependence (26.0% vs 9.4%; P = .000); say they would feel themselves a burden for relatives if they would become dependent in their last phase of life (79.3% vs 47.8%; P = .000); and choose the hospital as their preferred place of death (19.4% vs 3.6% P = .000). More Dutch than Japanese people say they would be happy with a proactive approach of their doctor regarding EoL issues (78.0% vs 65.1% JPN; P = .000).
Preferences in EoL care substantially differ between the Netherlands and Japan. These differences should be taken into account a) when interpreting geographical variation in EoL care, and b) if strategies such as SDM or ACP – are considered. Such strategies will fail if an international “one size fits all” approach would be followed.
PURPOSE: Defining patients as 'terminally-ill' may be difficult. Therefore, determining when to shift the goal of care from curative to comfort care may be extremely challenging. The aim of this study was to merge when and how Registered Nurses (RNs) and Nurses' Assistants (NAs) adjust end-of-life care to pursue patient comfort at the end of their lives.
METHODS: A descriptive qualitative study based on multiple focus groups was performed in 2017 according to the COnsolidated criteria for REporting Qualitative research guidelines. In all, 25 RNs and 16 NAs across seven north-east Italian facilities that provide end-of-life care, voluntarily participated in the study. Each focus group was conducted following the same interview guide with open-ended questions, and was audiotaped. A thematic analysis was applied to interview transcripts.
RESULTS: The process of nursing care plan adjustment is based upon two main themes, around 'when' and 'how' to adjust it. Regarding when, 'Detecting the turning point', and 'Being ready to change continuously until the end' emerged as the main sub-themes. Regarding how, 'Weighing harms and benefits of nursing care interventions'; 'Advocating for patients' wishes', 'Sharing the adjustments inside the team at different levels', 'Involving family in the adjustments of nursing care'; and 'Allowing care to move away from evidence-based practice' were the sub-themes emerged.
CONCLUSIONS: Shedding light on the implicit decisional processes that inform care adjustments and the implementation of related strategies is essential to improve the quality of end-of-life care given that an early detection of the terminal phase has been reported to result in changes of care improving outcomes.
Background: According to the Latin America Association for palliative care, Brazil offers only 0.48 palliative care services per 1 million inhabitants. In 2012, no accredited physicians were working in palliative care, while only 1.1% of medical schools included palliative care education in their undergraduate curricula. As a reflection of the current scenario, little research about end-of-life care has been published so that studies addressing this subject in the Brazilian setting are crucial.
Methods: A cross-sectional study study conducted with students applying for the medical residency of the Federal University of São Paulo were invited to voluntarily participate in an anonymous and self-administered questionnaire survey. The latter included demographic information, attitudes, prior training in end-of-life care, prior end-of-life care experience, the 20-item Palliative Care Knowledge Test (PCKT) and a consent term.
Results: Of the 3086 subjects applying for residency, 2349 (76%) answered the survey, 2225 were eligible for analysis while 124 were excluded due to incomplete data. Although the majority (99,2%) thought it was important to have palliative care education in the medical curriculum, less than half of them (46,2%) reported having received no education on palliative care. The overall performance in the PCKT was poor, with a mean score of 10,79 (± 3). While philosophical questions were correctly answered (81,8% of correct answers), most participants lacked knowledge in symptom control (50,7% for pain, 57,3% for dyspnea, 52,2% for psychiatric problems and 43,4% for gastrointestinal problems). Doctors that had already concluded a prior residency program and the ones that had prior experience with terminal patients performed better in the PCKT (p < 0,001). The high-performance group (more than 50% of correct answers) had received more training in end-of-life care, showed more interest in learning more about the subject, had a better sense of preparedness, as well as a higher percentage of experience in caring for terminal patients (p < 0,001).
Conclusions: Our study showed that Brazilian physicians lack not only the knowledge, but also training in end-of-life medicine. Important factors to better knowledge in end-of-life care were prior training, previous contact with dying patients and prior medical residency. Corroborating the literature, for this group, training showed to be a key factor in overall in this area of knowledge. Therefore, Brazilian medical schools and residency programs should focus on improving palliative training, especially those involving contact with dying patients.
INTRODUCTION: We hypothesized that trauma providers are reticent to consider palliative measures in acute trauma care.
METHODS: An electronic survey based on four patient scenarios with identical vital signs and serious blunt injuries, but differing ages and frailty scores was sent to WTA and EAST members.
RESULTS: 509 (24%) providers completed the survey. Providers supported early transition to comfort care in 85% old-frail, 53% old-fit, 77% young-frail, and 30% young-fit patients. Providers were more likely to transition frail vs. fit patients with (OR = 4.8 [3.8-6.3], p < 0.001) or without (OR = 16.7 [12.5-25.0], p < 0.001) an advanced directive (AD) and more likely to transition old vs. young patients with (OR = 2.0 [1.6-2.6], p < 0.001) or without (OR = 4.2 [2.8-5.0], p < 0.001) an AD.
CONCLUSIONS: In specific clinical situations, there was wide acceptance among trauma providers for the early institution of palliative measures. Provider decision-making was primarily based on patient frailty and age. ADs were helpful for fit or young patients. Provider demographics did not impact decision-making.
Background: Advance care planning (ACP) is a process by which patients reflect upon their goals, values and beliefs to allow them to make decisions about their future medical treatment that align with their goals and values, improving patient-centered care. Despite this, ACP is underutilized and is reported as one of the most difficult processes of oncology. We sought to: 1) explore patients’ and families’ understanding, experience and reflections on ACP, as well as what they need from their physicians during the process; 2) explore physicians’ views of ACP, including their experiences with initiating ACP and views on ACP training.
Methods: This was a qualitative descriptive study in Nova Scotia, Canada with oncologists, advanced cancer out-patients and their family members. Semi-structured interviews with advanced cancer out-patients and their family members (n = 4 patients, 4 family members) and oncologists (n = 10) were conducted; each participant was recruited separately. Data were analyzed using constant comparative analysis, which entailed coding, categorizing, and identifying themes recurrent across the datasets.
Results: Themes were identified from the patient / family and oncologist groups, four and five respectively. Themes from patients / families included: 1) positive attitudes towards ACP; 2) healthcare professionals (HCPs) lack an understanding of patients’ and families’ informational needs during the ACP process; 3) limited access to services and supports; and 4) poor communication between HCPs. Themes from oncologists included: 1) initiation of ACP discussions; 2) navigating patient-family dynamics; 3) limited formal training in ACP; 4) ACP requires a team approach; and 5) lack of coordinated systems hinders ACP.
Conclusions: Stakeholders believe ACP for advanced cancer patients is important. Patients and families desire earlier and more in-depth discussion of ACP, additional services and supports, and improved communication between their HCPs. In the absence of formal training or guidance, oncologists have used clinical acumen to initiate ACP and a collaborative healthcare team approach.
This article considers a particular aspect of palliative psychology that is inherent to the needs in the area of attitudes concerning Advance Healthcare Directives (AHDs) among Italian physicians and nurses after the promulgation of Law No. 219/2017 on AHDs and informed consent in 2018. The study utilized a mixed-method approach. The group of participants was composed of 102 healthcare professionals (63 females and 39 males). The quantitative part utilized the following scales: Attitudes toward Euthanasia, the Religious Orientation Scale, the Balanced Inventory of Desirable Responding, and the Testoni Death Representation Scale. The results were mostly in line with the current literature, especially concerning a positive correlation between religiosity and the participants' rejection of the idea of euthanasia. However, the qualitative results showed both positive and negative attitudes towards AHDs, with four main thematic areas: "Positive aspects of the new law and of AHDs", "Negative aspects of the new law and of AHDs", "Changes that occurred in the professional context and critical incidents", and "Attitudes towards euthanasia requests." It emerged that there is not any polarization between Catholics or religious people and secularists: Their positions are substantially similar with respect to all aspects, including with regard to euthanasia. The general result is that the law is not sufficiently understood, and so a quarter of the participants associate AHDs with euthanasia. Discussions on the opportunity for palliative psychologists to help health professionals to better manage these issues through death education courses are presented.
BACKGROUND: Palliative care is nowadays essential in nursing care, due to the increasing number of patients who require attention in the final stages of their life. Lack of knowledge of and negative attitude palliative care among nurses is one of the most common barriers to quality palliative care. This study, therefore, aimed to assess nurses' knowledge about palliative care and attitude toward end-of-life care in public hospitals in Wollega zones, Ethiopia.
METHODS: A multicenter institutional-based cross-sectional study design was employed to collect data from 372 nurses working in public hospitals in Wollega zones from October 02-22, 2019. A self-administered questionnaire with three different parts: Demographic characteristics of nurses, the Palliative Care Quiz for Nursing (PCQN), and the Frommelt Attitudes Towards Care of the Dying (FATCOD). SPSS version 21 was used for analysis used for data analysis. The binary logistic regression test was used for analysis at p < 0.05.
FINDINGS: Our final sample size was 422 nurses (response rate = 88%). With the mean total PCQN scores (9.34), the majority of them showed an inadequate level of knowledge about palliative care. The mean total FATCOD scores (79.58) displayed a positive attitude toward end-of-life care, with 52% of respondents eager to care for a dying person and their family. Nurses who had PC service experience [AOR = 1.94 CI (1.10-3.42), p = 0.02] and had ever attended training/lecture on PC [AOR = 1.87 CI (1.01-3.46), p = 0.04] were independently associated with nurses' knowledge about PC. Similarly, nurses who had no PC service experience [AOR = 0.41, CI (0.21-0.79), p = 0.008], who read articles/brochures about PC [AOR = 1.94, CI (1.11-3.39), p = 0.01] and had provided care for a smaller number of terminally ill patients [AOR = 1.74, CI (1.01-2.97), p = 0.04] were significantly associated with nurses' attitude towards end-of-life care.
CONCLUSION: The study highlighted that nurses' knowledge about palliative care is inadequate, and showed a less favorable attitude toward end-of-life care. The findings also provide evidence for greater attentions and resources should be directed towards educating and supporting nurses caring for patients with palliative care needs in Wollega Zones.
BACKGROUND: Advance care planning (ACP) is reported to improve the quality of outcomes of care among those with life-limiting conditions. However, uptake is low among people living with multiple sclerosis (MS) and little is known about why or how people with MS engage in this process of decision-making.
AIMS: To develop and refine an initial theory on engagement in ACP for people with MS and to identify ways to improve its uptake for those who desire it.
METHODS: Realist review following published protocol and reporting following Realist and Meta-narrative Evidence Synthesis: Evolving Standards (RAMESES) guidelines. A multi-disciplinary team searched MEDLINE, PsychInfo, CINAHL, Scopus, Web of Science, Embase, Google Scholar in addition to other sources from inception to August 2019. Quantitative or qualitative studies, case reports, and opinion or discussion articles related to ACP and/or end of life discussions in the context of MS were included, as well as one article on physical disability and one on motor neuron disease, that contributed important contextual information. Researchers independently screened abstracts and extracted data from full-text articles. Using abductive and retroductive analysis, each article was examined for evidence to support or refute 'context, mechanism, and outcome' (CMO) hypotheses, using the Integrated Behaviour Model to guide theory development. Quality was assessed according to methodological rigour and relevance of evidence. Those studies providing rich descriptions were synthesised using a realist matrix to identify commonalities across CMO configurations.
RESULTS: Of the 4,034 articles identified, 33 articles were included in the synthesis that supported six CMO hypotheses that identified contexts and mechanisms underpinning engagement in ACP for people with MS and included: acceptance of their situation, prior experiences, confidence, empowerment, fear (of being a burden, of death and of dying) and the desire for autonomy. Acceptance of self as a person with a life-limiting illness was imperative as it enabled people with MS to see ACP as pertinent to them. We identified the context of MS-its long, uncertain disease trajectory with periods of stability punctuated by crisis-inhibited triggering of mechanisms. Similarly, the absence of skills and confidence in advanced communication skills among health professionals prevented possibilities for ACP discussions taking place.
CONCLUSION: Although mechanisms are inhibited by the context of MS, health professionals can facilitate greater uptake of ACP among those people with MS who want it by developing their skills in communication, building trusting relationships, sharing accurate prognostic information and sensitively discussing death and dying.
BACKGROUND: Previous research has found racial differences in hospice knowledge and misconceptions about hospice care, which may hinder access to hospice care. Asian Indians are a rapidly growing population in the United States, yet limited research has focused on their beliefs toward end-of-life care. This project investigates Indian Americans' knowledge of and attitudes toward hospice care and advance care planning.
PROCEDURES: A cross-sectional design was employed using surveys about participants' knowledge of and attitudes toward hospice care and advance care planning. Surveys were conducted among Indian Americans, age 60 and over, recruited from Indian cultural centers in Northern California. The participants were first asked questions about hospice care. They were then given a summary explanation of hospice care and later asked about their attitudes toward hospice care. Data were analyzed using descriptive and bivariate analyses.
RESULTS: Surveys were completed by 82 participants. Findings revealed that 42.5% of respondents had an advance directive and 57.1% had named a health care proxy. Only 10% of respondents had known someone on hospice care and 10.4% correctly answered 4-5 of the knowledge questions. After being informed about hospice care, 69.6% of participants agreed that if a family member was extremely ill, they would consider enrolling him/her in hospice.
CONCLUSIONS: This study's results present a need for greater education about hospice services among older Asian Indians. Health practitioners should remain cognizant of potential misconceptions of hospice and cultural barriers that Asian Indians may have toward hospice care, so they can tailor conversations accordingly.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to understand the attitudes of front-line clinical nurses toward hospice care in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, to provide a source of reference for hospice care education and training in hospitals treating patients with COVID-19.
METHOD: Front-line nurses from a designated COVID-19 hospital in Wuhan, China, participated. Participants completed the Chinese versions of the General Information Questionnaire, the Frommelt Attitudes Toward Care of the Dying Scale, the Jefferson Scale of Empathy, and the General Self-Efficacy Scale.
RESULTS: A total of 149 questionnaires were included in the analysis. The median total hospice care attitudes score was median 102.00 (interquartile range, 95.5-120.50). The nurses' attitudes toward hospice care were significantly associated with their age, knowledge of hospice care, level of empathy, and self-efficacy.
CONCLUSION: The attitudes of front-line nurses toward hospice care need to be improved. Hospital departments should establish an effective public health emergency strategy, provide training to increase front-line nurses' knowledge and practical experience of hospice care, cultivate nurses' empathy, and enhance their sense of self-efficacy, in order to improve the quality of hospice care for patients and their families.
This study aims to extend our knowledge regarding attitudes toward euthanasia. Specifically, the effect of patient’s age and illness type. 123 participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 groups completed the Assessing Right to Die Attitudes (ARDA) questionnaire after reading a patients age (79 vs. 29 year old) and illness type (cancer vs. depression) description. Findings revealed more positive attitudes toward euthanasia when the patient was physically ill, as opposed to mentally ill. Participants’ attitude towards euthanasia was more positive when the patient was elderly. Illness type as a function of the patient’s age did not significantly influence attitudes towards euthanasia. The results of the current study reinforce the individual influence of illness type and of patient age on attitudes toward euthanasia, and suggest additional avenues for further research regarding their combined influence.
Objective: To assess the physiological outcomes and interpersonal influences that should be considered when making the decision to provide artificial nutrition and hydration (AN&H) for patients in hospice/palliative programs.
Methods: A systematic review was conducted using items from the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Protocols 2015 checklist. Distinct search strategies were employed to find primary research articles that addressed: General health outcomes of artificial nutrition and hydration interventions and nutrition therapy interventions (n = 16), nutrition-related symptoms in end-of-life care (n = 8), and the attitudes of patients and providers toward artificial nutrition and hydration (n = 21).
Results: The effect of AN&H on health outcomes, quality-of-life measures and nutrition-related symptoms is limited and may vary by patient setting and diagnosis. In the absence of consistent evidence for specific health outcomes, decisions regarding AN&H should be made in context of the desires and beliefs of a patient, their family, and their medical providers. These beliefs may not be consistent with likely outcomes or may be inconsistent between individuals involved in the decision-making process, and individuals of different cultures or geographic regions may approach AN&H decisions from different perspectives. To help navigate the intersection of nutrition-related health outcomes and patient/provider beliefs, palliative care teams may employ a variety of strategies for approaching the decision-making process, and may benefit from specific involvement of a Registered Dietitian to help contribute to or lead these discussions.
Objectives: Positive attitudes towards end-of-life care are essential among nursing students to adequately support terminally ill patients and enable students to feel confident about providing end-of-life care. This study aimed to determine nursing students’ attitudes towards caring for terminally ill patients, as well as the associations between these attitudes and year of study, exposure to terminally ill people, self-perceived nursing skills and subjective impact of instruction.
Design: Cross-sectional study.
Setting: A health sciences school in Switzerland.
articipants: All preparatory students, first-year nursing students and third-year nursing students were invited to participate; 178 agreed to participate.
Primary outcome measure: Attitudes towards terminally ill patients were assessed using the Frommelt Attitudes Toward Care of the Dying Scale, Form B (FATCOD, Form B), as the primary outcome. Secondary measures were gender, age, year of study, number of terminally ill persons encountered, self-perceived palliative care nursing skills and subjective impact of instruction.
Results: Mean FATCOD, Form B score was 117.7 (SD: 9.8, median: 118.0). Better attitudes towards terminally ill patients were significantly associated with being aged 24–26 years (ß=6.97, 95% CI 2.00 to 11.95, p=0.006), year of study (ß=3.47, 95% CI 1.69 to 5.25, p<0.001), professional encounters with terminally ill patients (ß=3.59, 95% CI 2.23 to 4.95, p<0.001) and self-perceived palliative care nursing competence (ß=1.23, 95% CI 0.41 to 2.04; p=0.003). In the multivariate analysis, professionally encountering terminally ill patients remained significant (ß=3.00; 95% CI 1.43 to 4.57; p<0.001).
Conclusions: Nursing students’ attitudes towards caring for terminally ill patients were positive and improved as their year of study progressed. Professional exposure to terminally ill patients was the strongest factor, followed by private encounters, self-perceived palliative care nursing skills, year of study and age.
PURPOSE: Neonatal palliative care becomes an option for critically ill neonates when death is inevitable. Assessing nurses' attitudes towards, barriers to, and facilitators of neonatal palliative care is essential to delivering effective nursing care.
METHODS: This study was conducted from January to September 2015 and involved Italian nurses employed in Level III neonatal intensive care units in 14 hospitals in northern, central, and southern Italy. A modified version of the Neonatal Palliative Care Attitudes Scale (NiPCAS) was adopted to assess nurses' attitudes.
FINDINGS: A total of 347 neonatal nurses filled out the questionnaire. The majority were female (87.6%), with a mean age of 40.38 (±8.3) years. The mean score in the "organization" factor was 2.71 (±0.96). The "resources" factor had a mean score of 2.44 (±1.00), while the "clinician" factor had a mean score of 3.36 (±0.90), indicating the main barriers to and facilitators of implementing palliative nursing care.
CONCLUSIONS: Italian neonatal nurses may face different obstacles to delivering neonatal palliative care and to improve their attitudes in this field. In the Italian context, no facilitators of, only barriers to, palliative care delivery were identified.
CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Nurses' attitudes towards neonatal palliative care are essential to supporting nurses, who are constantly exposed to the emotional and moral distress connected with this field of end-of-life nursing care.
BACKGROUND: African Americans have low engagement in advance care planning (ACP). This has been attributed to healthcare distrust and skepticism about ACP. A better understanding of these attitudes is needed to address health disparities related to end-of-life care.
OBJECTIVE: To explore the ACP-related values and beliefs of diverse African American communities across the USA and then the perceived value of an inexpensive end-of-life conversational game.
DESIGN: Prospective, convergent, mixed methods cohort study involving fifteen underserved, African American communities across the USA.
PARTICIPANTS: Of the 428 who attended events at purposively sampled sites, 90% consented to the research; 37% participated in one of 15 focus groups (n = 141).
INTERVENTION: An end-of-life conversation game, played in groups of 4-6.
MAIN MEASURES: The validated, 7-item ACP values and beliefs questionnaire (scaled 7 = least skeptical, 49 = most skeptical) was administered pre-game. Post-game focus groups explored perceptions about ACP and the intervention.
KEY RESULTS: Participants had positive attitudes (low skepticism) about ACP with a median score of 12.00 (7.00, 20.00). Values and beliefs did not significantly differ by geographical region; however, rural areas were observed to be slightly more skeptical than urban areas (median score 14.00 vs. 11.00, p = 0.002). Themes from focus groups converged with survey data showing participants valued the ACP process and consider further engagement in ACP to be worthwhile. Subthemes emphasized the need for and value of ACP.
CONCLUSIONS: Skepticism about ACP may contribute to low rates of ACP engagement in underserved African American communities. The positive attitudes uncovered in our study either negate previous findings or suggest reduced skepticism.
BACKGROUND: Despite the clear benefits of palliative care, surgical patients are less likely to receive palliative care consultations when compared to their medical counterparts. In this context, we conducted semi-structured interviews with a diverse range of practicing surgeons to better understand surgeon attitudes and experiences with both palliative care approaches and specialty services.
METHODS: Forty-six surgeons from community, tertiary-care, and academic institutions across the state of Michigan agreed to participate in this study. Each participant's interview lasted between 30 and 60 minutes and was digitally recorded. Audiotapes were transcribed verbatim and de-identified for names and places. The data were analyzed through iterative steps informed by thematic analysis.
RESULTS: Six major themes emerged describing surgeon-reported barriers to palliative care approaches and use of palliative care services, which were observed at the surgeon-level, patient and family-level, and system-level. At the surgeon-level, the following three major themes emerged: surgeon knowledge and attitudes, prognostication challenges, and surgeon identity. At the patient and family-level, two major themes were identified: expectations and discordance. At the system-level, two major themes emerged: culture and resources.
CONCLUSIONS: Among our cohort of surgeons, several key factors influenced their use of palliative approaches and specialty palliative care services. A better understanding of surgeon-perceived barriers may lead to future work aimed at creating meaningful, surgeon-specific interventions that address the underuse of this important care for surgical patients and patients being considered for surgery.
Background: Options available to Canadians at the end of life increased with the legalization of medical assistance in dying (MAiD). Bill C-14 modified the Canadian Criminal Code allowing individuals who meet very specific criteria to receive a medical intervention to hasten their death. June 2019 marked 3 years since the legislation has changed and while met with favour from most Canadians who believe it will provide enhanced options for quality of life at the end of life, there remains much debate over both its moral implications and practical components. Little is known regarding the Canadian healthcare provider experience with MAiD, in particular in rural and remote parts of the country such as northwestern Ontario.
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to explore physicians' experiences in Northwestern Ontario with MAiD. The geographic location of this study is of particular significance as physicians in rural and remote parts of Canada face unique challenges in the provision of high-quality palliative and end-of-life services. This qualitative research focused on developing a better understanding of physicians' perceptions and practices with MAiD, in particular regarding access, decision-making, provision of service and role clarity.
Methods: The researchers employed an exploratory qualitative research approach, using 1 semi-structured focus group and 18 semi-structured interviews comprising 9 set of questions. Data were collected through audio-taped semi-structured interviews, in person and by telephone.
Findings: Four distinct but interconnected themes emerged from thematic analysis of the transcripts of the focus group and interviews: physician perception of patient awareness, appreciation and understanding of MAiD; challenges providing true choice at end of life; burgeoning relationships between palliative care and MAiD; and physician recommendations.
Conclusion: The results of this study provide a snapshot of the Northwestern physician experiences with MAiD and contribute to the growing body of work exploring these issues on a national scale. MAiD is highlighted as both a rewarding and challenging experience for physicians in Northwestern Ontario in this study.
Background: Medical staff may have difficulties in using conventional medicine to manage symptoms among terminally ill patients, including adverse effects of the treatment. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is regarded as a complementary or alternative medicine, and has been increasingly used in the field of palliative medicine in recent years. This study aimed to investigate the experiences of and attitudes toward using TCM among palliative care professionals, and to provide preliminary information about its use in palliative care.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional survey study conducted in eight inpatient hospice wards in Taiwan between December 2014 and February 2016. The questionnaire was self-administered, and was analyzed with descriptive statistics including Pearson’s Chi-square test and Fisher’s exact test.
Results: A total of 251 palliative care professionals responded to the questionnaire, of whom 89.7% and 88.9% believed that the use of TCM could improve the physical symptoms and quality of life in terminally ill patients, respectively. Overall, 59.8%, of respondents suggested that TCM had rare side effects, and 58.2% were worried that TCM could affect the liver and kidney function of patients. In total, 89.7% and 88.0% of professionals agreed there were no suitable clinical practice guidelines and educational programs, respectively, for TCM use in palliative care.
Conclusions: Most of the respondents agreed there was insufficient knowledge, skills-training, and continuing education on the use of TCM in terminally ill patients in Taiwan. These results show that to address patient safety considerations, guidelines about use of TCM in palliative care should be established.
There is limited evidence on the relationships of preference for end-of-life life-sustaining treatments [LSTs] and diagnostic contexts like heart failure [HF] or cancer, and patient attitudes toward and perceived susceptibility to use advance directives [ADs]. Thus, this study aimed to compare attitudes and perceived susceptibility between HF patients and community-dwelling patients with cancer, and examine the associations of these variables with their preference for each LST (cardiopulmonary resuscitation [CPR], ventilation support, hemodialysis, and hospice care). Secondary data were obtained from 36 outpatients with HF (mean age, 65.44 years; male, 69.4%) and 107 cancer patients (mean age, 67.39 years; male, 32.7%). More patients with HF preferred CPR than cancer patients (41.7% and 15.9%, 2 = 8.88, P = 0.003). Attitudes and perceived susceptibility were similar between the two diagnostic cohorts. HF patients and those with more positive attitudes had greater odds of preferring CPR (odds ratio [OR] = 3.02, confidence interval [CI] = 1.19, 7.70) and hospice care (OR = 1.14, CI = 1.06, 1.23), respectively. HF diagnosis and AD attitudes increased the preference for CPR and hospice care, respectively. This suggests that it is important to gain positive attitudes toward ADs and consider diagnostic context to facilitate informed decision-making for LSTs.
This study aimed to elucidate the predictors and the effects of path modeling on the knowledge, attitude, and practice toward do-not-resuscitate (DNR) among the Taiwanese nursing staff. This study was a cross-sectional, descriptive design using stratified cluster sampling. We collected data on demographics, knowledge, attitude, and practice as measured by the DNR inventory (KAP-DNR), Mindful Attention Awareness Scale, General Self-Efficacy Scale, and Dispositional Resilience Scale. Participants were 194 nursing staff from a medical center in northern Taiwan in 2019. The results showed that participation in DNR signature and education related to palliative care were significant positive predictors of knowledge toward DNR. The DNR predictors toward attitude included DNR knowledge, mindfulness, self-efficacy, dispositional resilience, and religious belief of nurses. Generally, the critical predictors of DNR practice were DNR attitude, dispositional resilience, and male nurses. In path modeling, we identified that self-efficacy, dispositional resilience, master's degree, and religious belief directly influenced practice constituting DNR. Based on the findings of this study, we propose that nurses should improve their self-efficacy and dispositional resilience through training programs. Encouraging staff to undertake further education and have religious beliefs can enhance the practice of DNR and provide better end-of-life care.