Al-Kindi Sadeer G SG Zeinah Ghaith F Abu GF Hassan Azza Adel AA Palliative Care Knowledge and Attitudes Among Oncology Nurses in Qatar.Am J Hosp Palliat Care Abstract
Objectives:Formal palliative care (PC) education is lacking in the middle eastern state of Qatar. This study was done to assess the need for PC education among oncology nurses in Qatar.
METHODS: In March 2012, a self-constructed questionnaire was distributed to 115 nurses at the Qatar National Center for Cancer Care and Research.
RESULTS: A total of 115 nurses responded to the questionnaire. The majority (87.8%) were female. Although 60% had more than 10 years of work experience, only 31% had received formal training in PC, with only 6.1% having completed postgraduate training. The majority (63%) of responders attributed this issue to unavailability of PC courses rather than lack of time, interest, or financial issues. Currently, only 16.7% did not express interest in the field, with 56% showing some kind of interest. In terms of knowledge, 54% of the responders were familiar with the World Health Organization ladder for pain relief. Only 43.6% know about Palliative Performance Scale, and half of the nurses know the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System. Overall, 56% of the nurses indicated a need for training in more than 1 aspect. These aspects included training in care of the dying patients (14.6%), communication strategies (22%), caregiver support (10.6%), psychosocial care (15%), pain management (10.2%), other symptom management (13%), and other ethical/spiritual issues (14.2%).
CONCLUSIONS: There is a clear deficiency in formal PC education among the nurses at the National Center for Cancer Care and Research, in Qatar. This is reflected by their lack of experience and exposure to PC and their mediocre knowledge in the field. This could be attributed to the fact that formal PC service was established only recently in Qatar (2008). Formal training courses in PC nursing are required.