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General practitioners' attitudes towards essential competencies in end-of-life care : a cross-sectional survey

Giezendanner, Stéphanie and Jung, Corinna and Banderet, Hans-Ruedi and Otte, Ina Carola and Gudat, Heike and Haller, Dagmar M. and Elger, Bernice S. and Zemp, Elisabeth and Bally, Klaus. (2017) General practitioners' attitudes towards essential competencies in end-of-life care : a cross-sectional survey. PLoS one, 12 (2). e0170168.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/54654/

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Abstract

Identifying essential competencies in end-of-life care, as well as general practitioners' (GPs) confidence in these competencies, is essential to guide training and quality improvement efforts in this domain.; To determine which competencies in end-of-life care are considered important by GPs, to assess GPs' confidence in these competencies in a European context and their reasons to refer terminally ill patients to a specialist.; Cross-sectional postal survey involving a stratified random sample of 2000 GPs in Switzerland in 2014.; Survey development was informed by a previous qualitative exploration of relevant end-of-life GP competencies. Main outcome measures were GPs' assessment of the importance of and confidence in 18 attributes of end-of-life care competencies, and reasons for transferring care of terminally-ill patients to a specialist. GP characteristics associated with main outcome measures were tested using multivariate regression models.; The response rate was 31%. Ninety-nine percent of GPs considered the recognition and treatment of pain as important, 86% felt confident about it. Few GPs felt confident in cultural (16%), spiritual (38%) and legal end-of-life competencies such as responding to patients seeking assisted suicide (35%) although more than half of the respondents regarded these competencies as important. Most frequent reasons to refer terminally ill patients to a specialist were lack of time (30%), better training of specialists (23%) and end-of-life care being incompatible with other duties (19%). In multiple regression analyses, confidence in end-of-life care was positively associated with GPs' age, practice size, home visits and palliative training.; GPs considered non-somatic competencies (such as spiritual, cultural, ethical and legal aspects) nearly as important as pain and symptom control. Yet, few GPs felt confident in these non-somatic competencies. These findings should inform training and quality improvement efforts in this domain, in particular for younger, less experienced GPs.
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH)
09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH) > Society, Gender and Health > Gender and Health (Zemp Stutz)
UniBasel Contributors:Zemp Stutz, Elisabeth
Item Type:Article, refereed
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN:1932-6203
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:25 Apr 2017 09:39
Deposited On:25 Apr 2017 09:39

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