Exploring Public Awareness of Palliative Care

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Background: International research suggests that thegeneral public appear to be confused about what palliativecare is and who provides it (Hirai et al. 2011; McCarthy et al.2011). Evidence suggests that this can lead to negativeimpressions and consequences for the quality of careprovided to the dying and bereaved (Seymour et al. 2010).Given the aging population and the increasing number ofpatients requiring palliative care it is vital to explore thepublic’s perception of such services.Objective: To explore public’s perceptions of palliative care.Methods: A sequential exploratory mixed methods researchdesign was used. Phase 1 involved a descriptive, self-report,survey. The sample for the study included members of thePatient and Client Council Membership Scheme* (n=4000). Asurvey pack was distributed via on line and by post. Data wasanalysed using SPSS and descriptive and inferential statisticswere used to summarise the data. Phase 2 comprised semistructuredtelephone interviews with those respondentswho indicated a willingness to participate from stage 1(n=60). The purpose of the interviews was to provide greaterinsight into the perceptions on palliative care with a focus onstrategies that could be developed to raise awarenessamong the general public. These interviews were taperecorded, supplemented by field notes and contentanalysed.Results: Key themes emerged from the telephoneinterviews focusing on an overall perception of palliativecare and the importance of developing targeted strategiesfor raising public awareness of palliative care. Over 583questionnaires were returned (Postal=344; Online = 239).The analysis of the questionnaire is ongoing but is exploringinter-group comparisons and significant differences onvariables such as age and genderConclusions: The general public have differing perceptionsand views on palliative care and the findings can informpolicy makers on strategies to raise awareness of palliativecare.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
PublisherHayward Medical Communications
Number of pages223
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 31 May 2013
Event13th World Congress of the European Association of Palliative Care - Prague
Duration: 31 May 2013 → …


Conference13th World Congress of the European Association of Palliative Care
Period31/05/13 → …


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