Public Awareness toward Palliative Care: Integrative Literature Review

Nijmeh Al-Atiyyat, Mohammed Gazo


Background: Public awareness toward palliative care is playing a very important role in demanding various palliative care resources in different countries. A comprehensive assessment of public awareness toward palliative care is needed in order to intervene appropriately according to the public needs in this matter.Purpose: To assess current level of public awareness towards palliative care.Method: An integrative literature review design was utilized. CINAHL, PubMed, MEDLINE were searched. The following keywords (palliative care, general public, awareness, knowledge) were used in combination and/or mesh. After removing the duplicate articles and applying the inclusion criteria, a total of eight articles were retrieved to be considered the core of this review. Findings: There is a strong relationship between public awareness and the length of establishment of palliative care in different countries (Northern Ireland, New Zealand, Canada, & Australia). Also, it can be inferred that there is a highly public awareness of palliative care whenever there is a national guidelines and programs well established to enhance palliative care (New Zealand & Australia). Contrariwise, limited public awareness is reflected in countries where the concept of palliative care is relatively new (India). Conclusion: Demanding palliative care resources is highly connected to public awareness. Implication: Raising public awareness must be taken into consideration within international strategies for palliative care, that requires the concept of palliative care to be brought forward and integrated within the delivery of health care systems, palliative care services, and policy.Recommendations: Future researchers should assess the current level of knowledge and factors contribute to public awareness; due to scarcity of research literature related to public awareness toward palliative care.Policy makers should be urged to develop a national guidelines or methods to increase the public awareness towards palliative care.

Keywords: Palliative care, General public, Awareness, knowledge.

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