Self-reported practice, confidence, and knowledge about palliative care of nurses in a Japanese Regional Cancer Center: longitudinal study after 1-year activity of palliative care team

Tatsuya Morita, Koji Fujimoto, Chizuru Imura, Miki Nanba, Naoko Fukumoto, Tomoko Itoh
American Journal of Hospice & Palliative Care 2006, 23 (5): 385-91
Knowledge and skill deficits about palliative care in medical professionals are among the most common barriers to quality palliative care. This study in a Japanese regional cancer center was conducted to clarify nurses' self-reported practices, confidence, and knowledge, and the changes in these parameters after the 1-year educational and clinical activity of a palliative care team. Questionnaires were distributed to 134 nurses before and after a palliative care team conducted 6-topic educational programs and clinical consultation activity throughout the year. The nurses were asked to report their practices, confidence, and knowledge about palliative care in 5 fields (pain, dyspnea, delirium, communication, and dying-phase). In some areas of palliative care, hospital nurses did not adhere to recommended practices, had knowledge deficits, and were not generally confident with palliative care practices. However, daily palliative care team activities, including educational programs and clinical consultation service, could improve their practice and knowledge levels.

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