Attitudes towards palliative care among patients and health professionals in Henan, China
Source: Progress in Palliative Care, Volume 18, Number 6, December 2010 , pp. 341-345(5)
Publisher: Maney Publishing
Abstract:Introduction: A number of palliative care units have been established in different parts of China in the past two decades. Despite the growth in services, little is known about the attitudes of patients and health professionals towards this care approach.
Subjects and Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in Henan to examine the attitudes of terminally ill patients and health professionals towards palliative care.
Results: In total, 146 patients with advanced cancer, 66 doctors and 106 nurses completed the questionnaires. The majority of patients accepted death as a natural life process, but there remained nearly half of the patients who believe life preservation was their major care goal and they were unclear about their diagnosis and prognosis. The majority of health professional respondents affirmed the importance of palliative care, but less than half had learnt about it previously or were willing to deliver the relevant care.
Discussion: Palliative care seems to be widely accepted in the community as an alternative care option for patients with incurable disease. However, the lack of education in health professionals and public about palliative care, the predominant attitude of fighting against death and the avoidance of open and frank discussion concerning death and dying issues in the culture may hinder the development of palliative care.
Document Type: Review Article
Affiliations: 1: School of Nursing, Henan University, Henan, The People's Republic of China 2: Zhabei District Red Cross Aged Nursing Hospital Shanghai, The People's Republic of China 3: Oncology Hospital, Kaifeng, Henan, The People's Republic of China 4: The Nethersole School of Nursing, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, NT, Hong Kong SAR, China;, Email: email@example.com
Publication date: 2010-12-01