Impact of presence of paediatric palliative care units in hospitals on the confidence, knowledge and attitudes of paediatricians: the case of Turkey

Vehapoğlu Türkmen A.

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN HEALTH JOURNAL, vol.28, no.8, pp.593-600, 2022 (SSCI)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 28 Issue: 8
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.26719/emhj.22.067
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Child Development & Adolescent Studies, CINAHL, EMBASE, Index Islamicus, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.593-600
  • Bezmialem Vakıf University Affiliated: Yes


Background: Paediatric palliative eare (PPC) focuses on improving the quality of life of children dealing with life-threatening conditions, as well as their families. Aims: To evaluate the knowledge and attitudes of paediatricians regarding palliative eare in Turkey and the impact of PPC units on their confidence and symptom management abilities. Methods: This was a multicentre descriptive study conducted in 2019. A questionnaire consisting of 24 questions and 4 parts on palliative eare was prepared. Paediatricians in hospitals with or without PPC units completed the questionnaire. Analyses were performed using NCSS 10 (2015) software. Results: There were 199 participants in the study, out of which 55 (27.6%) received palliative eare training. One hundred and sixty-seven (83.9%) paediatricians defined palliative care as improving the quality of life of patients in the terminal period, and 77 (38.7%) stated that palliative care can be started after diagnosis. The groups of patients who would benefit from palliative eare were most frequently identified as those with diseases that could not be cured (e.g. cystic fibrosis). Paediatricians with a PPC unit in their work environment, compared with those without a PPC unit, were significantly more competent in pain management (36.8% vs 6.4%, P < 0.001), symptom management (42.1% vs 19.2%, P < 0.001), and coping with the psychosocial problems of end-stage paediatric patients (36.8% vs 8.4%, P < 0.001). Conclusion: PPC units in hospitals contributed to paediatricians' ability to manage symptoms and communicate with families. The number of PPC units should be increased, especially in developing countries such as Turkey.