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East Asian Arch Psychiatry. 2010 Dec;20(4):155-62.

The preparedness of Hong Kong medical students towards advance directives and end-of-life issues.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, The University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong SAR, China. clarasiumw@gmail.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To explore the preparedness of medical students towards advance directives and related end-of-life issues, and to examine background factors such as knowledge, attitudes, and experience concerning advance directives and related end-of-life issues.

METHODS:

In 2007, 448 medical students in years 3 to 5 were surveyed at the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong. Their knowledge, attitudes, and experiences of advance directives and related end-of-life issues, and their self-perceived preparedness to discuss these matters with patients were evaluated.

RESULTS:

A total of 220 (49%) of the eligible students responded, of whom 79% supported the use of advance directives. Only 65 (30%) students were certain of what advance directives meant and 198 (90%) students felt that their knowledge of advance directives was inadequate. Also, 197 (90%) students felt unprepared about advance directives and end-of-life issues. Factors associated with positive attitude towards advance directives included religion and knowledge. No factors were found to be associated with self-perceived preparedness towards advance directives or end-of-life issues.

CONCLUSIONS:

Most of the medical students surveyed demonstrated a positive attitude towards advance directives and recognised the importance of advance directives. However, they felt that they were unprepared and lacking in knowledge and experience of advance directives and end-of-life issues. Wider range and more depth of education is needed to better equip medical students for future practice.

PMID:
22348923
[PubMed]
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