Study of nurses′ knowledge about palliative care: A quantitative cross-sectional survey

Venkatesan Prem, Saroja Jaykumar, Surulirajan Karthikbabu, Harikesavan Karvannan, Senthil P. Kumar, Vaishali Sisodia, Nafeez Syed

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Context: Studies have documented that nurses and other health care professionals are inadequately prepared to care for patients in palliative care. Several reasons have been identified including inadequacies in nursing education, absence of curriculum content related to pain management, and knowledge related to pain and palliative care. Aims: The objective of this paper was to assess the knowledge about palliative care amongst nursing professionals using the palliative care knowledge test (PCKT). Settings and Design: Cross-sectional survey of 363 nurses in a multispecialty hospital. Materials and Methods: The study utilized a self-report questionnaire-PCKT developed by Nakazawa et al., which had 20 items (statements about palliative care) for each of which the person had to indicate ′correct′, ′ incorrect′, or ′unsure.′ The PCKT had 5 subscales (philosophy-2 items, pain-6 items, dyspnea-4 items, psychiatric problems-4 items, and gastro-intestinal problems-4 items). Statistical Analysis Used: Comparison across individual and professional variables for both dimensions were done using one-way ANOVA, and correlations were done using Karl-Pearson′s co-efficient using SPSS version 16.0 for Windows. Results: The overall total score of PCKT was 7.16 2.69 (35.8%). The philosophy score was 73 .65 (36.5%), pain score was 2.09 1.19 (34.83%), dyspnea score was 1.13 .95 (28.25%), psychiatric problems score was 1.83 1.02 (45.75%), and gastro-intestinal problems score was 1.36 .97 (34%). (P =.00). The female nurses scored higher than their male counterparts, but the difference was not significant (P >.05). Conclusions: Overall level of knowledge about palliative care was poor, and nurses had a greater knowledge about psychiatric problems and philosophy than the other aspects indicated in PCKT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-127
Number of pages6
JournalIndian Journal of Palliative Care
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01-05-2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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