Cancer Res Treat.  2017 Apr;49(2):437-445. 10.4143/crt.2015.495.

Do Korean Doctors Think a Palliative Consultation Team Would Be Helpful to Their Terminal Cancer Patients?

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Preventive Medicine, Eulji University School of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea.
  • 2Hospice & Palliative Care Branch, National Cancer Control Institute, National Cancer Center, Goyang, Korea. eunice.ncc@gmail.com

Abstract

PURPOSE
Hospice and palliative care services (HPC) are not commonly utilized in Korea; however, palliative care teams (PCTs) have been found to be effective at addressing the shortcomings in HPC. In this study, we attempted to outline unmet palliative care needs of terminal cancer patients and the potential benefits of PCTs as perceived by doctors in Korea.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
We surveyed 474 doctors at 10 cancer-related academic conferences from June to November 2014 with a self-report questionnaire to assess their perceptions of end-of-life care needs and the expected effects of PCTs on caring for terminal cancer patients. Among those surveyed, 440 respondents who completed the entire questionnaire were analyzed.
RESULTS
In all domains, fewer participants reported satisfaction with palliative care services than those reporting needs (p < 0.001). The surveyed participants also reported difficulties with a shortage of time for treatment, psychological burden, lack of knowledge regarding hospice care, lengths of stay, and palliative ward availability. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that female doctors (odds ratio [OR], 2.672; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.035 to 6.892), doctors who agreed that referring my patients to a HPC means I must give up on my patient (OR, 3.075; 95% CI, 1.324 to 7.127), and doctors who had no experience with HPC education (OR, 3.337; 95% CI, 1.600 to 7.125) were associated with higher expected effectiveness of PCT activities.
CONCLUSION
The PCT activities were expected to fill the doctor's perceived unmet HPC needs of terminal cancer patients and difficulties in communications.

Keyword

Hospices; Palliative care; Referral and consultation; Neoplasms

MeSH Terms

Congresses as Topic
Education
Female
Hospice Care
Hospices
Humans
Korea
Logistic Models
Palliative Care
Referral and Consultation
Surveys and Questionnaires
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