Palliative care for people living with HIV/AIDS: Factors influencing healthcare workers’ knowledge, attitude and practice in public health facilities, Abuja, Nigeria

Autoři: Whenayon Simeon Ajisegiri aff001;  Aisha A. Abubakar aff002;  Abdulrazaq A. Gobir aff002;  Muhammad Shakir Balogun aff001;  Kabiru Sabitu aff002
Působiště autorů: Nigerian Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme (NFELTP), Abuja, Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria aff001;  Department of Community Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria aff002
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(12)
Kategorie: Research Article



Physicians and nurses play vital roles in addressing palliative care (PC) needs of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). The healthcare workers’ (HCWs) experiences determine the success of palliative care delivery. There is paucity of data on PC for PLWHA. For this reason, we assessed the knowledge, attitude and practice of PC for PLWHA and associated factors among health care professionals.


We conducted a cross-sectional descriptive study among HCWs in public health facilities in the Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria between February and May, 2017. Multistage sampling technique with proportionate-to-size allocation was used to determine facility sample size and HCWs per professional discipline. Data were collected with questionnaires adapted from Palliative Care Quiz for Nursing, Frommelt Attitude toward Care of the Dying and practical questions adapted from PC standard guidelines. Participants' knowledge, attitude and practice were assessed by awarding one (1) point for each correct answer; incorrect or “not sure” answers took a zero (0) score. Correct responses were summed up to get a total score for each participant. Descriptive statistics was done to describe frequencies and proportions displayed on tables. Linear regression was done to determine factors associated with HCW’s knowledge, attitude and practice of PC for PLWHA


With a 100% response rate, the mean age of the 348 participants was 37.5 years (SD: ±8.9), 201 (57.8%) were female, 222 (63.8) were nurses and 230 (66.0%) had a work experience of 10 years or less. Majority of the participants, 310 (89.1%) agreed that palliative care focuses on the relief and prevention of suffering and 319 (91.7%) believe that PLWHA required palliative care. Misconceptions about palliative care include “palliative care is disease-oriented and not person oriented”, 252 (72.6%) believed; “palliative care is concerned with prolongation of life”, 279 (80.6%); and “use of placebos is appropriate in the treatment of some types of pain”, 252 (72.6%). Among the participants, 52% disagreed that “palliative care should be given only for dying PLWHA” while only 18 (5.2%) were right on “family should be involved in the physical care of the dying PLWHA”. Majority of the participants, 292 (84.1%) initiated palliative care discussion during patients’ diagnosis while 290 (83.6%) informed terminally ill patients about their diagnosis. Regarding psychological issues, 22 (6.3%) participants hid the truth from the patients while 196 (56.3%) provided emotional support to the patients. Morphine 240 (69.0%) and Pentazocine 194 (55.7%) were the most commonly used drugs for treatment of severe pain by participants across all centres.


In-service training and undergraduate training on palliative care were associated with knowledge and practice of palliative care for people living with HIV/AIDS. We recommended continuous quality in-service training and education on palliative care for HCWs. While we ensure voluntariness of participation and other ethical principles, the high response rate could be as a result of more motivated health worker than the norm. The results are unlikely to be representative of doctors and nurses in primary health care centres.

Klíčová slova:

Allied health care professionals – Health care facilities – Nurses – Palliative care – Professions – Psychological and psychosocial issues – Undergraduates


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2019 Číslo 12
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