Original Article

Knowledge and attitude towards end of life care among nursing students in a private nursing college, Penang

Authors: Swee Geok Lim, Ching Nguk Ngieng, Xie Yen Tan.

Background: End of life (EOL) care is a holistic approach for patients and their families, that involves physical, emotional, spiritual, and social needs. There are approximately 80,000 Malaysians requiring EOL care annually but only 2,000 patients have access to the service. Despite an increasing demand for EOL care in Malaysia, many healthcare professionals are still unfamiliar and inadequately trained in dealing with the EOL issue. The purpose of study is to evaluate the Diploma in Nursing students’ level of knowledge and attitude towards EOL care.

Method: A cross-sectional descriptive study on 127 nursing students from a private nursing college in Penang, through simple random sampling was conducted. The Palliative Care Quiz for Nursing was used to determine the knowledge of EOL care, while Frommelt Attitude Towards Care of Dying Patients-Form B, was used to measure attitude towards EOL care.

Result: Overall, the participants had poor knowledge towards EOL care with mean overall score of 8.18 ± 2.14. The mean overall score for attitude towards EOL care was 117.76 ± 11.12, implying a positive attitude towards EOL care. There was a significant difference in the level of knowledge (t = 5.250, p < 0.001) and attitude (t = 6.184, p < 0.001) according to the years of study.

Conclusion: The student nurses had poor level of knowledge on EOL but positive attitude towards EOL care. Adding an additional module on EOL alone is inadequate; instead emphasis on its relevancy and understanding on how it can be used to improve patient care is of far more importance.

Citation: IEJSME 2020 14 (3): 7-15