Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Support Care Cancer. 2007 Jul;15(7):801-6.

The current status of palliative care teams in Japanese university hospitals: a nationwide questionnaire survey.

Author information

  • 1Department of Adult Nursing/Palliative Care Nursing, School of Health Sciences and Nursing, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japa.



Although the importance of the palliative care team (PCT) to university hospitals is widely accepted, the issues of palliative care at the national level have not been clarified. We conducted a nationwide survey of the current status of PCTs in all (123) Japanese university hospitals.


In 2003, 2004 and 2005, the authors conducted a self-reporting cross-sectional survey. Questionnaires were mailed to nursing directors and selected PCT members of all Japanese university hospitals.


Of 123 hospitals in 2005, 99 (80%) returned the questionnaire; 33% used PCTs, and 11% used certified PCTs. Our findings include: annual number of patients treated by PCTs (83/70 +/- 64, mean/median +/- SD), daily number of patients treated by PCTs (12/11 +/- 14), and days of PCT care per patient (30/30 +/- 22). Certified PCTs treated more patients per year (p = 0.004) and more patients per day (p < 0.001) compared to noncertified PCTs. Over the 3-year period, the number of hospitals utilizing PCTs only slightly increased (2003: 27%, 2004: 29%, 2005: 33%), as did those using certified PCTs (2003: 3%, 2004: 9%, 2005: 11%). In 2005, the reasons for noncertification of PCTs included "lack of physicians who specialize in palliative care (82%)" and "lack of nurses who specialize in palliative care (56%)."


The entire system of palliative care in Japanese university hospitals is currently insufficient. The lack of physicians and nurses who specialize in palliative care is a significant barrier, and therefore, the initiation of a formal training system for these health care professionals is a high priority issue.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Springer
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk