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Self-reported knowledge, attitudes, and behaviour towards hospice care and how are these related to training in palliative care: An online survey among oncologists in the Czech republic and Slovakia

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/01/2015
<mark>Journal</mark>Progress in Palliative Care
Issue number1
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)1-8
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date26/11/13
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Oncologists have a central role as ‘gate keepers’ in terms of referring patients to palliative and hospice care. This role is even more important in countries such as the Czech Republic and Slovakia, where palliative care is still developing. The aim of this study was to assess the associations between self-reported knowledge, attitudes, and behaviour of Czech and Slovak oncologists towards hospice care and their attendance of palliative care training.

Methods: The method was an anonymous online questionnaire created by the LimeSurvey software. All members of national Oncological Society in the Czech Republic and Slovakia were invited to participate. Eighty-four oncologists completed the survey.

Results: Czech and Slovak oncologists’ attendance of palliative care training is significantly associated with their attitudes and behaviour towards hospice care. Respondents who had any additional palliative care training felt more knowledgeable and were more likely to discuss hospice care with their patients and families than oncologists without such training. Additionally, they also found delivering bad news less difficult and referred more terminal patients to hospice care than those with no training.

Conclusion: Training in palliative care can influence how oncologists discuss hospice care and refer their patients to such care. This should be reflected in curricula for medical students and in postgraduate education for oncologists and other health care providers, especially in countries with less integrated palliative care such as the Czech Republic or Slovakia.