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Medicine (Baltimore). 2019 Nov;98(45):e17683. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000017683.

Knowledge and attitudes toward end-of-life care among community health care providers and its influencing factors in China: A cross-sectional study.

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West China School of Nursing/West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu.
Red Cross Blood Centre of Taiyuan City, Taiyuan.
Changzhi Medical College, Changzhi.
Department of Palliative Medicine, West China Fourth University Hospital of Sichuan University, Chengdu.
Fenyang College of Shanxi Medical University, Fenyang.
West China School of Nursing/West China Hospital.
Innovation Center of Nursing Research, West China School of Medicine/West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China.


A majority of nurses struggled with a negative emotion of anger, doubt, fear, or anxious, uncomfortable in the face of death and dying. However, little was known about community health care providers' in China. Therefore, we conducted a study to investigate their knowledge and attitudes toward end-of-life care and analyze its influencing factors. To provide reference for developing effective strategies to promote end-of-life care in China.A total of 132 community health care providers of 10 community health care centers in Changzhi city were investigated by a Questionnaire of Knowledge and Attitudes toward Caring for the Dying from May, 2017 to December, 2017, and data was analyzed by SPSS 22.0 software.Of the 132 community health care providers who were under investigation, 70 knew about hospice care, but they rated their overall content on end-of-life care as inadequacy, especially in communication skills and knowledge of pain management. The average score of attitudes was 3.47 (SD = 0.44), the lowest score was in the subscale of nurse-patient communication, which was 2.91 (SD = 0.65). Health care providers who had worked for more than 11 years, who had experiences of the death of relatives or friends, and who had previous experiences of caring for terminal patients had more positive attitudes toward caring for the dying (P < .05 for all). There was a significant relationship between community health care providers' attitudes toward death and their attitudes toward end-of-life care (r = -0.282, P < .01). The significant predictors of attitudes toward end-of-life care were attitudes toward death (β = -0.342), experiences of the death of relatives (β=-0.207), experiences of caring for the dying (β = 0.185), and working experience (β = 0.171).Community health care providers had positive attitudes toward end-of-life care, but they lacked systematic and professional knowledge and skills of caring for the terminal patients. Education is the top priority. It is imperative to set up palliative care courses and life-death education courses, establish an indigenous end-of-life care model, and improve policies, systems, and laws to promote end-of-life care.

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