Current Content
Volume 37 - Number 3
May-June 2011

Pediatric Nurses' Attitudes Toward Hospice and Pediatric Palliative Care
Caprice A. Knapp, Vanessa Madden, Hua Wang, Kristin Kassing, Charlotte Curtis, Phyllis Sloyer, Elizabeth A. Shenkman

Several studies have investigated nurses' attitudes toward hospice and palliative care for adults, yet little information exists about pediatrics. Assessing pediatric nurses' attitudes is especially important in Florida, where a publicly funded pediatric palliative care program operates in eight cities across the State. The aims of this study were 1) to assess the attitudes toward hospice and palliative care, and 2) to examine the associations between sociodemographic and nursing care factors and nurses' attitudes toward hospice and palliative care. A cross-sectional research design using online and mail-in survey data was used to address the study aims. Surveys were conducted with 279 pediatric nurses across Florida. Bivariate results showed there were significant differences between the attitudes of pediatric nurses employed in a city with a pediatric palliative care program versus those not employed in a program site (p = 0.05). Multivariate analyses also showed that being employed in a program site increased attitudinal scores toward hospice and pediatric palliative care by 0.6 points. Beyond being employed in an area city where a pediatric palliative care program operates, results also suggest that having prior training in palliative care could alter nurses' attitudes, which might subsequently lead to increased referrals and improved outcomes for children and families.