Chinese Medical Sciences Journal ›› 2018, Vol. 33 ›› Issue (4): 221-227.doi: 10.24920/003509

• Original Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Recognition of Palliative Care in Chinese Clinicians: How They Feel and What They Know

Xiang Yirong, Ning Xiaohong   

  1. Department of Geriatrics, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100730, China
  • Received:2018-09-16 Accepted:2018-11-05 Published:2018-12-30 Online:2019-01-10
The survey in this study found 66.8% Chinese clinicians feel powerless while facing end-stage patients. Education on palliative medicine in clinicians were associated with less negative feelings, but more careful designations are needed.

Objective To investigate doctors’ feelings when providing medical care to end-stage patients, and their understanding as well as reflection about theoretical concepts of palliative medicine. Methods Questionnaires were delivered through a social networking platform to 1500 clinicians of different specialties in 10 proviences of China. It covered issues of background information, self-assessment of familiarity to palliative care, prior training history, emotional attitude toward end-stage patients, and the reflections on clinical practice. Logistic regression analysis and chi-square test were used to analyse the categorical variables. Results There were 379 clinicians who completed the questionnaires and submitted successfully. Among them, 66.8% (253/379) had attended palliative care training courses more than twice; 66.8% (253/379) clinicians percieved powerless feeling when facing end-stage patients. We found that the education on palliative medicine was significantly associated to doctors’ better comprehension on the concept of palliative care (OR=6.923, P=0.002). Doctors who were more familiar with palliative medicine were less likely to perceive powerless feelings (χ 2=13.015, P<0.001), and would be more likely to concern about patients and their family members in their clinical work (χ 2=28.754, P<0.001, χ 2=24.406, P<0.001). Conclusion The powerless feeling is prevalent in Chinese doctors when facing end-stage patients. Palliative care help them overcome the negative feelings and act more caring in clinic. More careful designed educational strategies that adapt to Chinese actual situation are needed to improve doctors’ cognition on palliative care.

Key words: palliative care, recognition, China, oncologist

Funding: Supported by the Educational Reform Project of Peking Union Medical College(2015zlgc0120)

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