Perception of Nurses about Palliative Care: Experience from South???West Nigeria

Author(s): Fadare JO, Obimakinde AM, Olaogun DO, Afolayan JM, Olatunya O, Ogundipe KO

Background: Nurses play a major role all over the world in the palliative care team. Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the knowledge and attitude of nurses toward palliative care in a tertiary level hospital in Nigeria. Subjects and Methods: Setting: This cross‑sectional questionnaire‑based study was carried out among nurses at a tertiary health care facility in Ado‑Ekiti, South‑West Nigeria. A cross‑sectional questionnaire‑based study was carried out. The questionnaire sought information about the sociodemographic profile of respondents, their knowledge of definition and philosophy of palliative care among other things. Descriptive statistics was used to obtain the general characteristics of the study participants, while Chi‑square was used to determine the association between categorical variables. A two‑sided P < 0.05 was considered as significant. Results: A total of 100 questionnaires were returned with a female preponderance among the respondents with F: M ratio of 9:1. Regarding the definition of palliative care, 71.8% (48/66) of the respondents understood palliative care to be about pain medicine, 55% (33/60) thought it to be geriatric medicine, while 90.2% (83/92) felt palliative care is about the active care of the dying. Exactly 80.5% (66/82) respondents agreed that palliative care recognizes dying as a normal process while 84.1% (74/88) respondents were of the opinion that all dying patients would require palliative care. The use of morphine would improve the quality of life of patients according to 68.9% (42/61) of respondents. Conclusion: There are gaps in the knowledge of healthcare workers in the area of palliative care and this call for a review of the current nursing curriculum and practice guidelines in Nigeria.

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