Purpose: To investigate difficulties doctors experience during life-sustaining treatment (LST) discussion with seriously ill patients and their families after enactment of the LST Decisions Act in February 2018.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in a tertiary hospital in the Republic of Korea in August 2019. 686 doctors who care for seriously ill patients were given a structured questionnaire, and difficulties during the discussion were examined.
Results: 132 doctors completed the questionnaire. 85% answered they treat cancer patients. Most (86.4%) experienced considerable difficulties during LST discussions (mean score, 7.4 ± 1.6/10). The two most common difficulties were communication with patients and family and determining when to discuss LST. Two-thirds of doctors found direct discussions with the patient difficult and said they would initiate LST discussions only with family. LST discussions were actually initiated later than considered appropriate. When medically assessing whether the patient is imminently dying, 56% of doctors experienced disagreements with other doctors, which could affect their decisions.
Conclusion: This study found that most doctors experienced serious difficulties regarding communication with patients and family and medical assessment of dying process during LST discussions. To alleviate these difficulties, further institutional support is needed to improve the LST discussion between doctors, patients, and family.
AIMS: This study explored perceptions on a good-life, good-death, and advance care planning in Koreans with non-cancerous chronic diseases with the goal to develop a culture-specific advance care planning intervention in this population.
DESIGN: A qualitative descriptive design was used.
METHODS: Data collections were conducted between September 2017 - June 2018. Twenty-nine patients aged 41-82 years (85.8% men) participated in the interviews lasting 40-60 min. The verbatim transcriptions of the semi-structured interview data were analysed using conventional content analysis.
RESULTS: Good-life was described as 'present with physical and financial independence,' 'not burdensome to the family,' 'completed life responsibility', and 'helping others.' Some participants described good-death as 'prepared death' while others considered it as 'sudden death during sleep.' All participants wanted to have a painless death and not burden the family. Advance care planning was a new concept to many participants. It was likened to 'insurance.' Some participants believed that decision-making on life-sustaining treatment should be done by their family, not themselves, because of economic or emotional distress. Some participants wanted to discuss medical and non-medical care services to reduce the burden on self and family.
CONCLUSION: Family is key when it comes to the meaning of good-life and good-death. Cultural adaptation is necessary to meet the advance care planning needs of Koreans with non-cancerous chronic diseases.
IMPACT: Successfully implementing advance care planning in Koreans with non-cancerous chronic diseases depends on how it is adapted to the disease-specific characteristics compared with cancer, and the cultural norms and social context. Nurses need to be prepared to offer advance care planning to persons with non-cancerous chronic diseases based on a keen sense of and empathetic cultural competence.
BACKGROUND: Well detection of the symptoms and signs of dying patients is essential for providing proper palliative care. Our goal is to evaluate the predominant symptoms and compare the changes in dying patients with digestive tract cancer in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan.
METHODS: A total of 1057 cancer patients aged 18 years or older admitted in palliative care units with locally advanced or metastatic gastroesophageal, colorectal, and pancreaticobiliary cancer were enrolled from January 2017 to March 2019. The severity of physical and psychological symptoms and signs assessed by physicians and/or nurses upon admission, 1 week after admission, and within 3 days of death, was compared according to cancer type and country of origin.
RESULTS: Among the 338 gastroesophageal, 358 pancreaticobiliary, and 361 colorectal cancer patients, 894 (93.1%) died during the observation period. Fatigue was the most severe symptom in all cancer groups before dying. Dyspnea, fatigue, drowsiness, and ascites improved after hospitalization albeit they worsened prior to death. In particular, ascites was a marked symptom in patients with pancreaticobiliary cancer. Delirium and hallucination gradually worsened during the period leading to death. Differences in manifestations with respect to the country of origin were not significant.
CONCLUSION: We identified the most prevalent signs and symptoms in patients from East Asia who were dying from digestive tract cancers. Proper management, based on these prevalent signs and symptoms during the dying period, plays a vital role in providing adequate palliative care.
Background: This study examined phenomenological manifestations of delirium in advanced cancer patients by examining the factor structure of the Delirium Rating Scale-Revised-98 (DRS-R-98) and profiles of delirium symptoms.
Methods: Ninety-three patients with advanced cancer admitted to inpatient palliative care units in South Korea were examined by psychiatrists using the DRS-R-98 and the Confusion Assessment Method (CAM). The factor structure of the DRS-R-98 was examined by exploratory structural equation modelling analysis (ESEM) and profiles of delirium were examined by latent profile analysis (LPA).
Results: CAM-defined delirium was present in 66.6% (n = 62) of patients. Results from the ESEM analysis confirmed applicability of the core and noncore symptom factors of the DRS-R-98 to advanced cancer patients. LPA identified three distinct profiles of delirium characterizing the overall severity of delirium and its core and noncore symptoms. Class 1 (n = 55, 59.1%) showed low levels of all delirium symptoms. Class 2 (n = 17, 18.3%) showed high levels of core symptoms only, whereas Class 3 (n = 21, 22.6%) showed high levels of both core and noncore symptoms except motor retardation.
Conclusions: Clinical care for delirium in advanced cancer patients may benefit from consideration of the core and noncore symptom factor structure and the three distinct phenomenological profiles of delirium observed in the present study.
BACKGROUND: Regulations on forgoing life-sustaining treatment (LST) have developed in Asian countries including Japan, Korea and Taiwan. However, other countries are relatively unaware of these due to the language barrier. This article aims to describe and compare the relevant regulatory frameworks, using the (more familiar) situation in England as a point of reference. We undertook literature reviews to ascertain the legal and regulatory positions on forgoing LST in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and England.
MAIN TEXT: Findings from a literature review are first presented to describe the development of the regulatory frameworks surrounding the option of forgoing LST in each country. Based on the findings from the four countries, we suggest five ethically important points, reflection on which should help to inform the further development of regulatory frameworks concerning end-of-life care in these countries and beyond. There should be reflection on: (1) the definition of - and reasons for defining - the 'terminal stage' and associated criteria for making such judgements; Korea and Taiwan limit forgoing LST to patients in this stage, but there are risks associated with defining this too narrowly or broadly; (2) foregoing LST for patients who are not in this stage, as is allowed in Japan and England, because here too there are areas of controversy, including (in England) whether the law in this area does enough to respect the autonomy of (now) incapacitated patients; (3) whether 'foregoing' LST should encompass withholding and withdrawing treatment; this is also an ethically disputed area, particularly in the Asian countries we examine; (4) the family's role in end-of-life decision-making, particularly as, compared with England, the three Asian countries traditionally place a greater emphasis on families and communities than on individuals; and (5) decision-making with and for those incapacitated patients who lack families, surrogate decision-makers or ADs.
CONCLUSION: Comparison of, and reflection on, the different legal positions that obtain in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and England should prove informative and we particularly invite reflection on five areas, in the hope the ensuing discussions will help to establish better end-of-life regulatory frameworks in these countries and elsewhere.
BACKGROUND: The increase in the number of pediatric patients with complex health conditions necessitates the application of advance care planning for children. Earlier, withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment was taboo in the medical society in South Korea due to the history of such practice being punishable by law, and physicians tended to pursue aggressive treatment. With changes in public opinion on end-of-life care, the Korean government enacted a new law that protect human dignity by respecting patients' self-determination and facilitating advance care planning. However, little is known about current state of advance care planning for pediatric patients. The study aimed to assess perceptions regarding advance care planning among South Korean pediatricians and clarify any differences in perception among pediatric subspecialties.
METHODS: This study was an observational cross-sectional survey that used a web-based self-report questionnaire. Participants comprised of pediatricians currently caring for children with life-limiting conditions in 2018.
RESULTS: Of the 96 respondents, 89 were included in the analysis. In a hypothetical patient scenario, more hemato-oncologists and intensivists than neonatologists and neurologists preferred to provide comfort care than aggressive treatment. While 72.2% of hemato-oncologists reported that they usually or always discuss advance care plans with parents during treatment, more than half of other pediatricians reported that they seldom do so. Furthermore, 65% of respondents said that they never discuss advance care planning with adolescent patients. Moreover, there were no notable differences among subspecialties. The most prevalent answers to factors impeding advance care planning were lack of systemic support after performing advance care planning (82.0%) and uncertain legal responsibilities (70.8%).
CONCLUSIONS: The pediatricians differed in their experiences and attitudes toward advance care planning based on their subspecialty. Consequently, institutional support and education should be provided to physicians so that they can include children and families in discussions on prognosis.
AIM: To examine whether nurses' location of employment, demographics, or training influences their perceptions of what constitutes optimal care for dying patients in hospital.
DESIGN: Questionnaire-based, cross-sectional study.
METHODS: Between December 2016-June 2018, 582 registered or enrolled nurses from Australia (N = 153), South Korea (N = 241), and Hong Kong (N = 188) employed in a variety of hospital care units rated the extent to which they agreed with 29 indicators of optimal end-of-life care across four domains: patient, family, healthcare team, and healthcare system. Latent class analysis identified classes of respondents with similar responses.
RESULTS: Top five indicators rated by participants included: 'physical symptoms managed well'; 'private rooms and unlimited visiting hours'; 'spend as much time with the patient as families wish'; 'end-of-life care documents stored well and easily accessed' and 'families know and follow patient's wishes'. Four latent classes were generated: 'Whole system/holistic' (Class 1); 'Patient/provider-dominated' (Class 2); 'Family-dominated' (Class 3) and 'System-dominated' (Class 4). Class 1 had the highest proportion of nurses responding positively for all indicators. Location was an important correlate of perceptions, even after controlling for individual characteristics.
CONCLUSION: Nurses' perceptions of optimal end-of-life care are associated with location, but perhaps not in the direction that stereotypes would suggest. Findings highlight the importance of developing and implementing location-specific approaches to optimize end-of-life care in hospitals.
IMPACT: The findings may be useful to guide education and policy initiatives in Asian and Western countries that stress that end-of-life care is more than symptom management. Indicators can be used to collect data that help quantify differences between optimal care and the care actually being delivered, thereby determining where improvements might be made.
Ageing has been recognized as one of the most critically important health-care issues worldwide. It is relevant to Asia, where the increasing number of older populations has drawn attention to the paramount need for health-care investment, particularly in end-of-life care. The advocacy of advance care planning is a mean to honor patient autonomy. Since most East Asian countries are influenced by Confucianism and the concept of 'filial piety,' patient autonomy is consequently subordinate to family values and physician authority. The dominance from family members and physicians during a patient's end-of-life decision-making is recognized as a cultural feature in Asia. Physicians often disclose the patient's poor prognosis and corresponding treatment options to the male, family member rather to the patient him/herself. In order to address this ethical and practical dilemma, the concept of 'relational autonomy' and the collectivism paradigm might be ideally used to assist Asian people, especially older adults, to share their preferences on future care and decision-making on certain clinical situations with their families and important others. In this review article, we invited experts in end-of-life care from Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan to briefly report the current status of advance care planning in each country from policy, legal and clinical perspectives. According to the Asian experiences, we have seen different models of advance care planning implementation. The Asian Delphi Taskforce for advance care planning is currently undertaken by six Asian countries and a more detailed, culturally sensitive whitepaper will be published in the near future.
Background: The characteristics of physician communication with patients at the end of life (EOL) in East Asia have not been well studied. We investigated physicians' communications with imminently dying patients with cancer and their families in palliative care units (PCUs) in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan.
Methods: This observational study included patients with cancer newly admitted and deceased during their first admission to 39 PCUs in three countries. We evaluated 1) the prevalence and timing of informing patients and families of patients' impending death and 2) the prevalence of communication to assure the families of the patient's comfort.
Results: We analyzed 2138 patients (Japan: 1633, South Korea: 256, Taiwan: 249). Fewer Japanese (4.8%: 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 3.8%–5.9%) and South Korean (19.6%: 95% CI, 15.2%–25.0%) patients were informed of their impending death, whereas 66.4% (95% CI, 60.2%–72.1%) of Taiwanese were informed; among all three countries, =90% of families were informed. Although most patients in all three countries and the families in South Korea and Taiwan were informed of the impending death greater than or equal to four days before death, 62.1% (95% CI, 59.6%–64.6%) of Japanese families were informed less than or equal to three days prior. Most families in all three countries received assurance that the patient would remain comfortable (could hear until death, no distress with death rattle or respiration with mandibular movement).
Conclusions: Physicians in Taiwan communicated about patient's impending death most frequently, and physicians in all three countries generally provided assurance to families that the patients would remain comfortable. Further studies should explore the reasons for these differences and the effects of such communications in East Asia.
Background: This study examined the experience of withholding or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment in patients hospitalized in the intensive care units (ICUs) of a tertiary care center. It also considers the role that intensivists play in the decision-making process regarding the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment.
Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the medical records of 227 patients who decided to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining treatment while hospitalized at Ewha Womans University Medical Center Mokdong between April 9 and December 31, 2018.
Results: The 227 hospitalized patients included in the analysis withheld or withdrew from life-sustaining treatment. The department in which life-sustaining treatment was withheld or withdrawn most frequently was oncology (26.4%). Among these patients, the most common diagnosis was gastrointestinal tract cancer (29.1%). A majority of patients (64.3%) chose not to receive any life-sustaining treatment. Of the 80 patients in the ICU, intensivists participated in the decision to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining treatment in 34 cases. There were higher proportions of treatment withdrawal and ICU-to-ward transfers among the cases in whom intensivists participated in decision making compared to those cases in whom intensivists did not participate (55.9% vs. 4.3% and 52.9% vs. 19.6%, respectively).
Conclusion: Through their participation in end-of-life discussions, intensivists can help patients' families to make decisions about withholding or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment and possibly avoiding futile treatments for these patients.
Background: Palliative care is a patient-centred, integrated approach for improving quality of life for both patients facing life-threatening illnesses and for their families. Although there has been increased interest in palliative care for non-cancer patients, the palliative care competency of nurses who care for non-cancer patients has rarely been investigated. This study described the palliative care knowledge, attitude, confidence, and educational needs in nurses who care for patients with congestive heart failure, stroke, end-stage renal disease, and end-stage liver disease; explored the relationships between those variables; and identified factors affecting nurses’ palliative care confidence.
Methods: A cross-sectional, descriptive, correlational design was employed; data collection was conducted at a tertiary hospital in Seoul, Korea. Nurses who were working in general wards and intensive care units (N = 102) completed valid and reliable self-administered questionnaires. Descriptive statistics, frequencies, independent t-tests, one-way ANOVA, Pearson’s correlations, and multiple regression were conducted to analyse the data.
Results: Nurses’ palliative care knowledge level was low (9.73 ± 2.10; range = 0–20) and their attitude toward palliative care was moderate (87.97 ± 6.93, range: 30–120). Knowledge was significantly correlated with attitude (r = .29, p = .003). Nurses were highly confident in pain and symptom management but demonstrated high educational needs for managing human and material resources to provide palliative care. Previous training in hospice, palliative, and EOL care was a significant and modifiable factor that affected nurses’ confidence (std. ß = 0.25, p = .010).
Conclusions: To facilitate high-quality palliative care for non-cancer patients and families, nursing education programs should be developed to address nurses’ knowledge level, confidence level, and educational needs. This study provides relevant information that can be utilised to develop palliative care educational programs for nurses who care for non-cancer patients.
OBJECTIVE: Many caregivers report finding positive meanings in their caregiving roles and activities. The positive aspects of caregiving (PAC) scale was designed to measure positive appraisals of caregiving. This study assessed the reliability and validity of the Korean version of the PAC for family caregivers of people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
METHOD: The instrument's content and semantic equivalence were established using translation and back translation of the PAC. A convenience sample of 127 family caregivers of patients with ALS in Korea was recruited. Content, construct, and convergent validity of the Korean PAC were evaluated. Cronbach's a was used to assess reliability. This study used secondary data; the primary study received approval from the Institutional Review Board of H Hospital, from where data were collected. The consent forms did not mention the future use of data. Therefore, we have applied for approval regarding this study's protocol and exemption from informed consent.
RESULTS: The Cronbach's a was 0.92, and internal consistency was acceptable. Exploratory factor analysis supported the construct validity with a two-factor solution explaining 74.73% of the total variance. Regarding convergent validity, the Korean PAC score negatively correlated with caregiver burden and depression and positively with self-rated health status. We were unable to evaluate the suitability of the suggested structural dimensionality through confirmatory factor analysis. Furthermore, as we used secondary data, we could not assess retest reliability for the evaluation of the scale's stability.
SIGNIFICANCE OF RESULTS: The Korean PAC was found to be an applicable instrument with satisfactory reliability and validity and suitable for further use as a measure for positive appraisals of caregiving for family caregivers of people with ALS. It may be effective for measuring caregivers' psychological resources.
Purpose: This study aims to develop a scale to assess the stress of nurses caring for terminally ill children and to test the validity and reliability of the scale.
Background: Nurses caring for children experience various stressors that are different from those experienced by nurses caring for adult patients. It is important to understand the level of stress of nurses caring for dying children and their families. Instruments to measure these stress levels, however, are not available.
Design: This study used a methodological approach.
Method: The initial items were identified through literature reviews and in-depth interviews. Content validation of the items was evaluated by seven experts. Participants were 357 pediatric nurses working at 11 institutions in six cities. Data were analyzed using item analysis, exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, internal consistency, and test–retest. This study followed the STROBE checklist.
Findings: The final scale consisted of 22 items chosen and classified into 5 factors (psychological difficulties, conflict with parents, difficulties in communication, lack of end-of-life care knowledge, and restricted working environment), which explained 61.13% of the total variance. The 5-subscale model was validated by confirmatory factor analysis. Cronbach's alpha for the total item was 0.90, and the intra-class correlation coefficient was 0.89.
Conclusion: This scale can be used to contribute toward the assessment of stress among nurses performing end-of-life care for children.
Practice implications: This scale will contribute to the improvement of the quality of life of not only nurses, but also children and their families in pediatric settings.
Aims: This review aims to explore the extant literature on the current utilization of ACP in Kisin order to obtain a comprehensive understanding of their health disparities and to determine evidence-based best practices to integrate culturally-competent ACP for EOL care of KIs.
Design: A systematic integrative review of the literature Data Sources: Four electronic databases including PubMed, the Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature, the Cochrane Library, and Embase.
Method: The detailed search strategy for databases implicated a combination of MeSHkeywords and associated terms, which can be found in Table A.
Results: Three themes emerged in relation to fundamental components in the integration of culturally-competent ACP for EOL of KIs: (1) cultural characteristics of KIs; (2) disparities in ethnic-oriented ACP and EOL care resources in KIs; and (3) KIs’ perspectives on ACP.
Conclusion: The findings of this review indicate that culturally-competent ACP resources for KIsare presently quite insufficient. It is determined that much future research is needed on how culturally-competent ACP can best augment the quality of EOL care for KIs, and on how specific interventions can effectively implement ACP in community settings. Impact: Such ongoing research dedicated to the development of feasible culturally competent practice guidelines is anticipated to markedly reduce health disparities and promote ACP in KIs. The recommendations in this review may support Korean primary HCPs, Korean health care center administrators, Korean health maintenance organizations (HMOs), Korean advance care nurse practitioners in hospice and palliative care, and nurse researchers in their work.
Purpose: An important role of the rapid response system (RRS) is to provide opportunities for end-of-life care (EOLC) decisions to be appropriately operationalized. We investigated whether EOLC decisions were made after the RRS-recommended EOLC decision to the primary physician.
Materials and Methods: We studied whether patients made EOLC decisions consistent with the rapid response team’s (RRT) recommendations, between January 1, 2017, and February 28, 2019. The primary outcome was the EOLC decision after the RRT’s recommendation to the primary physician. The secondary outcome was the mechanism of EOLC decision-making: through institutional do-not-resuscitate forms or the Korean legal forms of Life-Sustaining Treatment Plan (LSTP).
Results: Korean LSTPs were used in 26 of the 58 patients who selected EOLC, from among the 75 patients for whom the RRS made an EOLC recommendation. Approximately 7.2% of EOLC decisions for inpatients were related to the RRT’s interventions in EOLC decisions. Patients who made EOLC decisions did not receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation, mechanical ventilation, or dialysis.
Conclusion: The timely intervention of the RRS in EOLC facilitates an objective assessment of the patient’s medical conditions, the limitation of treatments that may be minimally beneficial to the patient, and the choice of a higher quality of care. The EOLC decision using the legal process defined in the relevant Korean Act has advantages, wherein patients can clarify their preference, the family can prioritize the patient’s preference for EOLC decisions, and physicians can make transparent EOLC decisions based on medical evidence and informed patient consent.
Hospice volunteers are a high-risk group for anxiety and depression owing to their frequent exposure to patients at the end of life and their subsequent deaths. Resilience is known to be a powerful factor that affects the occurrence of anxiety and depression; however, research on this subject is scarce. We investigated the relationship of resilience with anxiety or depression in hospice volunteers. A total of 145 volunteers were included in the analysis. Participants completed self-reported scales, including the Korean version of the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale, the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, Patient Health Questionnaire-9, and the Professional Quality of Life Scale version 5. Pearson correlation coefficients were analyzed to identify the relationship of compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue with anxiety or depression. A PROCESS macro mediation analysis was used to investigate the mediation effects of compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue on the relationship between resilience and anxiety or depression. There were significant associations of compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue with anxiety and depression. The relationship between resilience and anxiety/depression was mediated by compassion fatigue, which had indirect effects on anxiety and depression. Efforts to reduce compassion fatigue and increase resilience could help prevent anxiety and depression in hospice volunteers.
This study aimed to identify the relationships of perception of hospice and palliative care with emotional intelligence and cognitive empathy in nursing students. The participants were 458 nursing students. Data were collected using structured questionnaires and analyzed with Pearson correlation coefficients, independent-samples t test, and binary logistic regression. Perception of hospice and palliative care was significantly and positively correlated with emotional intelligence (r = 0.224, P < .001) and cognitive empathy (r = 0.311, P < .001). Mean score differences of perception of hospice and palliative care by emotional intelligence and cognitive empathy were statistically significant (t = -3.973, P < .001; t = -4.109, P < .001, respectively). Logistic regression yielded an odds ratio of 1.860 (P < .001; 95% confidence interval, 1.283-2.698) between the perception of hospice and palliative care and emotional intelligence and an odds ratio of 2.028 (P < .001; 95% confidence interval, 1.394–2.951) between the perception of hospice and palliative care and cognitive empathy. Emotional intelligence and cognitive empathy should be cultivated to raise nursing students' perception of hospice and palliative care and must be included when developing related curricula and extracurricular programs.
Objectives: Facilitating a high quality of death is an important aspect of comfort care for patients in ICUs. The quality of death in ICUs has been rarely reported in Asian countries. Although Korea is currently in the early stage after the implementation of the “well-dying” law, this seems to have a considerable effect on practice. In this study, we aimed to understand the status of quality of death in Korean ICUs as perceived by medical staff, and to elucidate factors affecting patient quality of death.
Design: A multicenter cross-sectional survey study.
Setting: Medical ICUs of two tertiary-care teaching hospitals and two secondary-care hospitals.
Patients: Deceased patients from June 2016 to May 2017.
Interventions: Relevant medical staff were asked to complete a translated Quality of Dying and Death questionnaire within 48 hours after a patient’s death. A higher Quality of Dying and Death score (ranged from 0 to 100) corresponded to a better quality of death.
Measurements and Main Results: A total of 416 completed questionnaires were obtained from 177 medical staff (66 doctors and 111 nurses) of 255 patients. All 20 items of the Quality of Dying and Death received low scores. Quality of death perceived by nurses was better than that perceived by doctors (33.1 ± 18.4 vs 29.7 ± 15.3; p = 0.042). Performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation and using inotropes within 24 hours before death were associated with poorer quality of death, whereas using analgesics was associated with better quality of death.
Conclusions: The quality of death of patients in Korean ICUs was considerably poorer than reported in other countries. Provision of appropriate comfort care, avoidance of unnecessary life-sustaining care, and permission for more frequent visits from patients’ families may correspond to better quality of death in Korean medical ICUs. It is also expected that the new legislation would positively affect the quality of death in Korean ICUs.
CONTEXT: Providing hospice and palliative care (HPC) early in the course of care for patients with life-threatening illness is important for improving patient quality of life. However, little literature exists for factors affecting to the intention to use early palliative care (EPC) of general population.
OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to identify the sources of information about HPC, investigate whether they affect intention to use HPC and EPC, and examine the relationship between the components of a good death and the intention to use HPC and EPC.
METHODS: A stratified nationwide cross-sectional survey including 1,500 participants, 20 to 74 years old, was conducted to investigate their intentions to use HPC and EPC, available information sources, and perceived components of a good death.
RESULTS: The main sources of information about HPC were television and radio. Information acquired from health professionals was positively associated with the intention to use EPC. While regarding a good relationship with family as a component of a good death was related to low intention to use EPC, being able to trust medical staff, being involved in decisions about care, and being respected as an individual were associated with high intention to use EPC.
CONCLUSION: Information from healthcare providers and public awareness through education and publicity efforts are necessary to inform the public about the benefits of EPC. Furthermore, it is essential that medical staff cultivate the skills necessary to secure public trust and provide care that respects patients until the end of their lives.