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Factors associated with the attitudes of oncology nurses toward hospice care in China

Authors Yang F, Ye Z, Tang L, Xiang W, Yan L, Xiang M

Received 10 January 2017

Accepted for publication 18 March 2017

Published 5 May 2017 Volume 2017:11 Pages 853—860

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PPA.S132093

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Naifeng Liu

Fei-Min Yang,1 Zhi-Hong Ye,2 Lei-Wen Tang,3 Wei-Lan Xiang,3 Lin-Juan Yan,4 Min-Li Xiang5

1Department of General Surgery, 2Department of Nursing, 3Department of Nursing Education, 4Department of Surgical Oncology, 5Department of Medical Oncology, Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China

Objective: To examine factors that are associated with the apprehension levels of oncology nurses toward hospice care. Factors examined in this study included demographics, nursing experience, education levels, title and post, personal experiences, and attitudes toward end-of-life care.
Methods: Questionnaires were provided to nurses (n=201) from three first-tier hospitals in China. A quantitative scale, Professional End-of-life Care Attitude Scale (PEAS), was used to assess personal and professional apprehension levels toward hospice care. The PEAS was translated to Chinese with terms adapted to the cultural environment in China. Statistical analyses were performed to examine the relationships between the apprehension levels and various factors.
Results: The total PEAS scores exhibited internal consistency and reliability, with a Cronbach α=0.897 and Pearson’s r=0.9030. Of the 201 nurses, 184 provided a valid response (91.5%). Education level was significantly correlated with personal (P<0.01) and professional apprehension levels (P<0.05). Higher apprehension level was found in nurses with less education.
Conclusion: The PEAS quantitative survey is useful for evaluating apprehension levels of nurses toward hospice care. Nurses with more education experienced less anxiety when providing care for terminally ill patients. The findings suggested that education programs on hospice care could be strengthened to help nurses cope with negative attitudes toward end-of-life care.

Keywords: end of life, nurses’ perspective, communication, palliative care, cancer patients, terminally ill

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