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Int J Palliat Nurs. 2002 Apr;8(4):169-75.

Palliative care in district general hospitals: the nurse's perspective.

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Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, UK.


Most patients with a terminal illness die in hospital, yet the opinions of their prime carers are largely ignored. This study investigated registered nurses' perceptions of palliative care in district general hospitals. A random sample of 263 nurses was surveyed, using a pre-piloted questionnaire, and results showed that 70% of general ward nurses believe that managing care of the dying is an integral part of hospital care. However, their dissatisfaction with the care they give is reflected in the mere 8% who consider hospital an ideal setting for patients who are dying. Although nurses are confident in their physical/clinical role, dealing with psychosocial issues is more problematic. A minority feel confident in discussing death and dying with the patient. Barriers to optical palliative care on general wards were perceived as lack of appropriate education and training, work pressures, and lack of support from medical colleagues and managers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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