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What do young doctors know of palliative care: how do they expect the concept to work?

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  • Chamath Gunasekara Vidana Mestrige Fernando
  • Shamini Prathapan
Article number419
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>16/07/2019
<mark>Journal</mark>BMC Research Notes
Issue number1
Number of pages6
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Discipline of palliative care is still evolving in developed parts of the world while it remains at an infantile stage in Sri Lanka which has not been formally assessed as of today. We aimed at evaluating the level of palliative care knowledge and opinions among young medical graduates. A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out among pre-residency medical graduates of Sri Lanka through a social media based online survey. The pre-tested questionnaire assessed the level of knowledge on general principles, service organization, clinical management and ethical considerations while it also evaluated their opinions. Response rate was 35.8% (n = 351). The average score among the respondents was 37.25% [standard deviation (SD) = 11.975]. Specific knowledge on “general principles” was adequate (score ≥ 50%) with an average of 62.61%, SD = 24.5 while “ethics” was observed to be the area with the poorest knowledge (average score = 19.55%, SD = 22). Average scores for “service organization” and “managerial aspects” were 34.54%, SD = 17.6 and 32.26%, SD = 22.3, respectively. The majority (> 90%) believed that de-novo establishment of hospice, hospital and community-based palliative services would sustainably improve holistic patient care. Measures must be taken to optimize basic palliative care knowledge among the undergraduates in view of achieving Universal Health Coverage in the long term.