Palliative care for chronically ill patients is an important strategy to relieve suffering and to maintain quality of life. However, few studies have investigated the problems in the palliative care of chronic patients. This study explored the willingness to accept palliative care and related factors in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The study adopted a descriptive-correlational design. A purposive sample of 101 patients from 2 teaching hospitals in central Taiwan was recruited. Structured questionnaires assessed patients’ knowledge, attitude, and willingness to accept palliative care. The results showed that most participants were willing to accept symptom control and unwilling to accept intubation, mechanical ventilation, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Associations between knowledge scores, willingness to accept palliative care, and attitude scores were found. Education level and attitude toward palliative care variables were predictive factors of willingness to accept palliative care. However, knowledge of palliative care was noticeably low in the study; only 14.9% of the participants were aware of palliative care. Educating patients about palliative care is necessary. Health professionals should advocate for palliative care and provide patients and their families with opportunities to discuss their views about palliative care so that appropriate care can be provided.
Chia-Wen Chou, MSN, is clinical instructor, Department of Nursing, National Taichung University of Science and Technology, Taichung, Taiwan, Republic of China.
Jeng-Yuan Hsu, MD, is director, Medical Ethics and Law Center and Department of Respiratory Therapy, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan, Republic of China.
Zen-Gun Wu, MD, is director, Department of Chest Medicine, Cheng Ching Hospital–Chung Kang Branch, Taichung, Taiwan, Republic of China.
Shiah-Lian Chen, PhD, RN, is professor, Department of Nursing, National Taichung University of Science and Technology, Taichung, Taiwan, Republic of China.
Address correspondence to Shiah-Lian Chen, PhD, RN, Department of Nursing, National Taichung University of Science and Technology, Room 415-4, 193, Sec. 1, Sanmin Rd, Taichung 403, Taiwan, Republic of China (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.