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A comparative study to assess the awareness of palliative care between urban and rural areas of Ernakulum district, Kerala, India

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Author(s): Joseph Nitin | Jayarama S | Kotian Shashidhar

Journal: Indian Journal of Palliative Care
ISSN 0973-1075

Volume: 15;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 122;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: Awareness | Comparative study | Palliative care | Rural areas | Urban areas

ABSTRACT
Aim: To assess the knowledge and attitude toward palliative care among people residing in urban and rural areas. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among 185 urban and 165 rural households. Senior-most member of the household present was interviewed using a questionnaire. Only those people who have heard about palliative care were included in the study. Results: Out of 350 people, 47 (13.4%) have heard about palliative care. Of these 38 (20.5%) belonged to urban and 9 (5.4%) belonged to rural areas ( P< 0.0001).Twenty-nine (15.7%) participants in urban and 7 (4.2%) in rural areas had some knowledge about palliative care ( P= 0.0002). Source of information for 25 (53.2%) participants was newspapers followed by television 17 (36.2%). Thirty-three (86.8%) participants in urban and 7 (77.8%) in rural areas felt that palliative care helps in improving quality of life. Twenty (52.6%) participants in urban and 4 (44.4%) participants in rural areas felt that palliative care can be better provided at homes than hospitals. Thirty (78.9%) urban participants felt that bad news about the patient′s condition needs to be told to the patient first and then to their family members. In case of rural participants majority 7 (77.8%) said vice versa ( P = 0.0039). Conclusion: Overall awareness of palliative care was poor. This calls for large-scale awareness campaigns. As home-based palliative care was preferred by many, home visits by care providers and training of family members of patient′s needing palliative care needs to be practiced widely.
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