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Title: Perceptions of healthcare professionals towards palliative care in internal medicine wards: a cross-sectional survey
Authors: Tay, Jason
Compton, Scott 
Phua, Gillian 
Zhuang, Qingyuan
Neo, Shirlyn 
Lee, Guozhang
Wijaya, Limin 
Chiam, Min
Woong, Natalie
Krishna, Lalit 
Keywords: Education and training
End of life
Internal medicine
Palliative care
Palliative medicine
Quality of life
Issue Date: 30-Jun-2021
Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd
Citation: Tay, Jason, Compton, Scott, Phua, Gillian, Zhuang, Qingyuan, Neo, Shirlyn, Lee, Guozhang, Wijaya, Limin, Chiam, Min, Woong, Natalie, Krishna, Lalit (2021-06-30). Perceptions of healthcare professionals towards palliative care in internal medicine wards: a cross-sectional survey. BMC Palliative Care 20 (1) : 101. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
Abstract: Background: The extension of palliative care services to meet the needs of patients with chronic non-malignant life-limiting conditions faces misconceptions amongst healthcare professionals. A study of prevailing perceptions of healthcare professionals on this wider palliative care service was thus conducted to identify current obstacles, guide the education of local healthcare professionals and improve service accessibility. Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out at the Singapore General Hospital. An anonymised and close-ended online questionnaire was disseminated to 120 physicians and 500 nurses in the Department of Internal Medicine. The online survey tool focused on participant demographics; perceptions of palliative care and its perceived benefits; roles and indications; and attitudes and behaviours towards palliative care referrals. Results: Forty four physicians and 156 nurses suggested that care of terminally ill patients with chronic non-malignant life-limiting conditions are compromised by concerns over the role of palliative care in non-cancer care and lapses in their prognostication and communication skills. Respondents also raised concerns about their ability to confront sociocultural issues and introduce palliative care services to patients and their families. Conclusions: Gaps in understanding and the ability of nurses and physicians to communicate end of life issues, introduce palliative care services to patients and their families and confront sociocultural issues suggest the need for a longitudinal training program. With similar concerns likely prevalent in other clinical settings within this island nation, a concerted national education program targeting obstacles surrounding effective palliative care should be considered. © 2021, The Author(s).
Source Title: BMC Palliative Care
ISSN: 1472-684X
DOI: 10.1186/s12904-021-00787-2
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
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