Context: The Cancer Control Act was passed in Japan in 2007, and various additional programs on palliative care have been implemented to improve quality of life and relieve pain and suffering in patients with cancer. However, how clinical settings have changed remains unclear. Objectives: The primary aim of the present study was to determine changes in nurses’ palliative care knowledge, difficulties, and self-reported practices between 2008 and 2015. Methods: This study was an analysis of two nationwide observational studies from 2008 to 2015. We conducted two questionnaire surveys for representative samples of nurses in designated cancer hospitals, community hospitals, and district nurse services. The measurements used the Palliative Care Knowledge Test (PCKT, range 1–100), the Palliative Care Difficulties Scale (PCDS, range 1–5), and the Palliative Care Self-Reported Practice Scale (PCPS, range 1–5). Comparisons were made using the nonpaired Student t-test and a multivariate linear regression model using two cohorts. Results: We analyzed survey results for 2707 nurses in 2008 and 3649 nurses in 2015. Significant improvements were seen in PCKT, PCDS, and PCPS total scores for nurses in every work location over the seven-year study period, with PCKT total scores of 53 vs. 65 (P < 0.001; effect size = 0.60), 47 vs. 55 (P < 0.001; effect size = 0.40), and 52 vs. 55 (P = 0.118; effect size = 0.13), PCDS total scores of 3.0 vs. 2.5 (P < 0.001; effect size = 0.76), 3.4 vs. 2.8 (P < 0.001, effect size = 0.91), and 3.2 vs. 2.9 (P < 0.001; effect size = 0.53), and PCPS total scores of 3.7 vs. 4.0 (P < 0.001; effect size = 0.13), 3.5 vs. 3.8 (P < 0.001; effect size = 0.42), and 3.8 vs. 4.0 (P < 0.011; effect size = 0.21) in designated cancer hospitals, community hospitals, and district nurse services, respectively. Conclusion: Nurses’ palliative care knowledge, difficulties, and self-reported practices improved over the seven-year study period, especially in terms of expert support in designated cancer hospitals and knowledge among nurses in designated cancer hospitals.
- Palliative care
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine