Background and aim Although the challenges of integrating palliative care practices across care settings are real and well recognised, to date little is known about palliative care practices of emergency physicians (EPs) in Kuwait. Therefore, this study aims to explore the attitude and knowledge of EPs in providing palliative care in all general hospitals in Kuwait.
Method A cross-sectional survey was performed in the emergency rooms of all general hospitals in Kuwait using the Palliative Care Attitude and Knowledge Questionnaire.
Results Of the total number of physicians working in emergency rooms (n=156), 104 (66.67%) had completed the survey. 76.9% (n=80) of the EPs had an uncertain attitude towards palliative care. Most of the EPs (n=73, 70.28%) did not discuss the patients’ need for palliative care either with the patients or with their families. Only 16 (15.4%) of the EPs responded correctly to most of the questions while nearly half of the EPs (n=51, 49%) had poor knowledge. Experience ≥11 years and better knowledge scores were independent predictors of positive attitude after adjustment of age, sex, qualifications, specialty, position and nationality (OR: 5.747 (CI 1.031 to 25.00), 1.458(CI 1.148 to 1.851); p values: 0.021, 0.002, respectively).
Conclusions Despite recognising palliative care as an important competence, the majority of the EPs in Kuwait had uncertain attitude and poor knowledge towards palliative care. Efforts should be made to enhance physician training and provide palliative care resources to improve the quality of care given to patients visiting emergency departments.
- hospital care
- clinical decisions
- quality of life
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Contributors AA: study concept, study design, acquisition of subjects and data, interpretation of data, approval of the final manuscript. SS: study concept, acquisition of subjects and data, interpretation of data, approval of the final manuscript. SA: study concept, study design, acquisition of subjects and data, preparation of the manuscript, approval of the final manuscript. WMA-E-G: study concept, study design, acquisition of subjects and data, interpretation of data, preparation of the manuscript, approval of the final manuscript.
Funding This research received a grant from the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) under grant agreement no. P116-13NO-01.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.