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Keywords:

  • education-professional;
  • evidence-based practice;
  • oncology;
  • palliative care

Abstract

Background

Self-determination and patient choice of end-of-life care are emphasised in palliative care. Advance care planning (ACP) is an approach to enabling patients' choices. The use of ACP has not been extensively studied in our current context. Little is known about oncology care nurses' views and the barriers they face in the implementation of ACP.

Objective

The aims of this study were to assess the uptake of ACP by health professionals and explore nurses' perceived barriers for implementing ACP.

Methods

This study employed a pre- and post-implementation audit design using the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) Practical Application of Clinical Evidence System (PACES) and Getting Research into Practice (GRIP) programs. An education programme on ACP was provided between pre-and post-implementation audits. Nurses and medical professionals (pre-audit, n = 32; post-audit, n = 30) working in oncology departments were invited to complete a questionnaire based on the audit criteria. A convenience sample of 25 nurses participated in the focus group interview. Interview data were analysed by content analysis.

Results

The post-audit results were lower than the pre-audit results with a range of decreased compliance from 1% for criterion 5 to 14% for criterion 6. Lack of time to implement ACP was the most frequently raised barrier by oncology nurses.

Conclusions

The study findings were disappointing, but this first audit is significant to provide insights for future dissemination and implementation of ACP interventions. An ongoing mandatory professional development programme in ACP for healthcare staff is promising to promote the uptake of ACP in healthcare settings.