Perinatal palliative care (PPC) is a multifaceted approach to providing healthcare to a fetus diagnosed with a life limiting illness as well as to the parents and family. To implement a PPC program, we must assess the attitudes and perceptions of our healthcare workers. This can be accomplished by using a previously validated scale, The Perinatal Palliative Care Perception and Barriers Scale (PPCPBS) ©.
Labor and delivery nurses, obstetric and gynecology residents and attendings at our hospital were asked to complete the PPCPBS using the Qualtrics online survey tool. The PPCPBS includes 61 items inclusive of two six-point Likert subscales measuring perceptions and barriers, three 100-point visual analog scales (VAS), and demographic items. Simple statistics were used to evaluate results. Quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive statistics (i.e., frequencies, percentages, means, and standard deviations).
There were 52/160 (33%) respondents analyzed. Most providers indicated positive perceptions of PPC (via a 6 point Likert Scale). A majority felt PPC helps families prepare for the birth of their baby (M 5.74, SD .56) and that parents should be offered PPC (M 5.89, SD .32). Barriers included lack of educational materials (M 3.02, SD 1.59) and lack of knowledge among hospital administrators (M 3.19, SD 1.58).
Our study will help to add to the body of literature regarding healthcare workers' perceptions of PCP. We will use this information in implementing a PPC at our hospital. Further research will include how perceptions change after the program is implemented, as well as how patients perceive PCP.