Committee Chair: Dr. Beverly Siegrist, Committee Member: Dr. Cathy Abell, Clinical Mentor Committee Member Dr. Betty Ferrell


Background: Palliative care is considered a right for human beings. By 2040, it is estimated that 40% of the 65 years of age and older population in the United States will die in long term care (LTC) facilities. Because of the chronicity of the geriatric population’s medical conditions, the patients may require end-of-life (EOL) care. Numerous LTC facilities are located in rural areas which may create a disparity in the provision of quality EOL care.

Methods: A quantitative descriptive cross-sectional design was utilized. The purpose of this study was to examine rural and urban nurses’ knowledge of palliative care and confidence/competency to provide palliative care for EOL patients in LTC facilities. Data collection occurred at three rural and three urban LTC facilities which consisted of a convenience sample of 74 nurses in south-central Kentucky. Analysis of data was performed with SAS software utilizing descriptive, ANOVA, and t-test statistics.

Results: The study subjects responded below 50% on the Palliative Care Knowledge Test (PCKT). A statistically significant difference was found between the PCKT subset of gastrointestinal and age. Registered nurses had more total knowledge of palliative care on the PCKT than the licensed practical nurses. No statistical significant difference was noted on the Self-Efficacy in Palliative Care (SEPC) Survey between the rural and urban subjects.

Conclusions: The primary conclusion of this study was that rural and urban nurse study subjects lacked knowledge of palliative care, but had a perceived confidence/competency to provide palliative care.


Geriatrics | Nursing