Assessment of Palliative Care Awareness among Undergraduate Healthcare Students JC06-JC10
Dr. Rajaragupathy Sujatha,
Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry, PSG Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Peelamedu,
Coimbatore-641004, Tamil Nadu, India.
Introduction: Palliative care knowledge is being given meager importance in the curriculum of medical and other allied medical sciences. It is vital that all health care practitioners including medical, pharmacy, physiotherapy and nursing are aware and apply the best principles of palliative care.
Aim: To assess the awareness of palliative care among undergraduate students of medical, nursing, pharmacy and physiotherapy.
Materials and Methods: The study population included total of 200 students. Among 200 students, 50 were from each of the colleges of medicine, nursing, pharmacy and physiotherapy. After obtaining informed consent, questionnaire was given. The questionnaire contained the sociodemographic profile and 35 statements under nine groups, for which the respondents were expected to answer one out of the three options (Yes, No, Don’t know). The groups of statements deal with palliative care definition, its philosophy, communication issues, non-pain symptoms, medications use and context of application of palliative care.
Results: It was found that less than 20% of nursing students were unaware of palliative care. Among the undergraduates of college of pharmacy, more than 50% had no knowledge of palliative care. More than 80% of physiotherapy, nursing and medical students agree that death should occur without any pain or symptoms. The need of palliative care was well understood by more than 70% of students of physiotherapy, pharmacy, nursing and medical colleges.
Conclusion: Basic knowledge about palliative care was inadequate among the undergraduate students related to healthcare.