Indian Journal of Palliative Care
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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1--5

Healthcare workers knowledge and attitude toward palliative care in an emerging tertiary centre in South-West Nigeria

1 Department of Pharmacology, Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria
2 Department of Family Medicine, Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria
3 Department of Anesthesia, Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria
4 Department of Surgery, Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria
5 Department of Social Welfare, Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Joseph O Fadare
Department of Pharmacology, Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0973-1075.125547

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Background: Palliative care is an emerging area of medicine with potential to affect positively many chronically ill patients. This study investigated the knowledge and attitude of healthcare workers in a tertiary level hospital in Nigeria where a palliative care unit is being established. Material and Methods: The study was a cross-sectional questionnaire-based study carried out among healthcare workers in Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti, south-west Nigeria. The questionnaire had sections about definition of palliative care, its philosophy, communication issues, medications, and contexts about its practice. The information obtained from the questionnaire was coded, entered, and analyzed using IBM SPSS version 19. Results: A total of 170 questionnaires were returned within the stipulated time frame with response rate of 66.7%. Majority, (135, 86%) respondents felt palliative care was about the active management of the dying while 70.5% of respondents equated palliative care to pain management. Regarding the philosophy of palliative care, 70 (57.9%) thought that it affirms life while 116 (78.4%) felt palliative care recognizes dying as a normal process. One hundred and twenty-two (78.7%) respondents were of the opinion that all dying patients would require palliative care. The patient should be told about the prognosis according to 122 (83%) respondents and not doing so could lead to lack of trust (85%). Regarding the area of opioid use in palliative care, 76% of respondents agreed that morphine improves the quality of life of patients. Conclusion: There are plausible gaps in the knowledge of the healthcare workers in the area of palliative care. Interventions are needed to improve their capacity.


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