Faculty research: Exploring health care professionals attitudes toward end-of-life care

September 3, 2021

by Marcia Hannigan

In “Developing the Future End-of-Life Health Care Workforce: Lessons Learned From a Survey of Advanced Health Professions Students,” American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Anita Franzione, DrPH and her colleagues explore attitudes toward end-of-life (EOL) palliative care by health care professional trainees and their views regarding knowledge of and intentions to practice EOL care.

With a growing elderly population and epidemiological shifts toward complex, chronic diseases, there is a growing need for palliative care providers or at least medical professionals in the United States with some palliative care training. Despite this, only 25% of health care providers surveyed (public health, pharmacy, physicians, physician assistants, and occupational and physical therapists) in their final year of training expressed the belief that they have sufficient knowledge of palliative care.  Only 28% of those surveyed had taken a full course on death and dying and 39% reported a class session, reading, or assignment on death and dying.  One-third of health professions students reported no didactic training related to EOL in their health professions curriculum. 

Physicians and physician assistants were the professions most interested in providing EOL care (55% and 32% respectively).  The study was heavily weighted to pharmacy trainees and did not include registered nurses, social workers, and chaplains who all play a role in EOL care.  The study demonstrated that having clinical, personal, or educational experience was associated with greater interest in EOL.  While not demonstrating significant knowledge of EOL and palliative, students had confidence in their understanding of these issues.  Students expressed an interest in having more education on EOL issues.

The study provides a way to train health professionals from various disciplines to take care of seriously ill patients with chronic or terminal illnesses.  It is time to increase the knowledge and value of palliative care.

Recent Posts

NJSPL – New Jersey Employment Concerns Revisited

As 2024 began with yet another surprisingly strong jobs report for the U.S. (353,000 jobs added in January and the unemployment rate steady at 3.7%), and with a full year’s worth of 2023 state-level employment data now available, it’s worth briefly revisiting some of...

New Research: The Traffic Calming Effect of Delineated Bicycle Lanes

Abstract We analyze the effect of a bicycle lane on traffic speeds. Computer vision techniques are used to detect and classify the speed and trajectory of over 9,000 motor-vehicles at an intersection that was part of a pilot demonstration in which a bicycle lane was...

Upcoming Events

Event Series CAREERS

Career Virtual Drop-ins

Virtual

Bloustein Career Development Specialists Cheryl Egan and Andrea Garrido will be in a Zoom Room on Monday's beginning January 22, 2024 (excluding holidays and spring break) to answer questions, provide […]