Q.C.TANG1, J.G.X.KOH1, M.X.Y.NG2, L.L.C.TAN1, W.L.CHOO1, C.Y.J.YEE3, J.SIM1
Khoo Teck Puat Hospital1, Yishun Community Hospital2, MOH Holdings Pte Ltd (MOHH)3
Inadequate palliative training at work and insufficient undergraduate palliative course coverage often result in therapists being apprehensive in providing palliative care. This study aimed to compare factors that may influence therapists’ knowledge and attitudes towards providing palliative care.
A quantitative cross-sectional study was conducted. Demographic data, number of palliative patients seen in a month, previous palliative training, knowledge scores and the Frommelt Attitudes Toward Care of the Dying (FATCOD) Scale were collected from 108 rehabilitation therapists. Multivariate analysis was done to compare factors influencing knowledge and FATCOD scores. P-value of <0.05 is considered as statistical significance.
79% of the therapists manage palliative patients regularly. Only 20% received previous palliative care training. The mean knowledge score is 19.07 (±2.92) and FATCOD score is 113.79 (±9.35) compared to the benchmark knowledge score of 23.33 (±1.63) and FATCOD score of 119.50 (±8.80). Having previous palliative training and higher palliative caseload were statistical significance in positively influencing knowledge scores. No factors were found to be statistically significant in influencing the FATCOD scores.
Enhanced knowledge and attitude towards palliative care can reduce anxiety and apprehension of therapists in managing palliative patients. Our study shows that higher palliative caseload and previous training positively influence knowledge scores. While the caseload is not an easily modifiable factor, palliative training should be provided for all therapists. Further research is warranted to explore other factors contributing to therapists’ fear in providing palliative care.