Nursing Students’ Views of the Content of Palliative Care in Undergraduate Education and their Self-assessed Palliative Care Competence: A Nationwide Cross-sectional Study

Minna Hökkä, Tarja Pölkki, Juho T. Lehto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Background: The importance of integrating palliative care (PC) education into undergraduate nursing studies has been recognized. Still, there is considerable variation in the PC education of nurses. Objective: To study the nursing students’ views of the PC contents during the nursing education; students’ self-assessed levels of PC competence; and whether prior education or work experience influence these views. Methods: A cross-sectional study. Data were collected using a questionnaire which was tested for its content and construct validity and internal consistency. The sample consisted of final-year undergraduate nursing students (n = 1331) from Finland. Results: The response rate was 94%. Of the students, 94.4% considered PC education to be quite or very useful, but only 51.9% reported the achieved PC teaching as quite or very good. Teaching on mental symptoms, existential issues and multicultural aspects were considered incomplete. Over half of the students wanted more education on pharmacological- and non-pharmacological pain management. Students with previous education assessed their PC competence as quite or very good more often than other students (70.1% vs. 54%, P <.001), and more often felt that these competencies are relevant to their profession (72.2% vs. 57.6%, P <.001). Conclusion: PC was considered as a useful subject, still only about half of the students reported the received PC education and their competence on PC as sufficient. Previous education or experience may enhance PC competence highlighting the need for divergent teaching. The results identify development needs for the contents of PC education in undergraduate nursing studies.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalJOURNAL OF PALLIATIVE CARE
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Mar 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • competences
  • cross-sectional study
  • education
  • nursing
  • palliative care
  • professional competence

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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