Nurses' perceptions of early person-centred palliative care: A cross-sectional descriptive study
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Kmetec, S., Štiglic, G., Lorber, M., Mikkonen, I., McCormack, B., Pajnkihar, M. & Fekonja, Z. (2019) Nurses' perceptions of early person-centred palliative care: A cross-sectional descriptive study. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences (In Press).
Palliative care is aimed at improving the quality of life of an individual with chronic noncommunicable disease and their care partners. Limitations in the provision of palliative care are mainly lack of knowledge and experience by nurses, fear of treating palliative persons, loss of control over treatment and fear of providing poor-quality palliative care to persons and care partners. The aim of this study was to investigate the perception, knowledge and attitudes of palliative care by nurses who use palliative care approaches in practice, as well as the difference in perception, knowledge and attitudes of palliative care between nurses in Slovenia and Finland. We conducted a cross-sectional descriptive study. The survey included 440 nurses in clinical environments in Slovenia and Finland with a completed bachelor, master or doctoral level of education. We found statistically significant differences between both countries in the perception of palliative care. Differences between the two countries in the knowledge of palliative care were not confirmed. We confirmed statistically significant differences between both countries in the attitudes of palliative nursing care. Early person-centred palliative care is an important part of the holistic and integrative treatment of a person who has a disease with disturbing symptoms. For such an approach, it is important to educate nurses about knowledge, expectations, values and beliefs in developing a concept of person-centred palliative care to improve quality of life. The better perception, knowledge and attitudes of palliative care by nurses may help persons to improve and raise their quality of life, as well as diminish stress in their care partners and improve quality of life.