Knowledge and Practices Regarding Psychosocial Aspects of Palliative Care among Healthcare Workers in Ohangwena Region, Namibia
In Namibia, palliative care
service is necessitated by the situation of progressive life limiting
illnesses, which demand access to psychosocially appropriate holistic
palliative care. Little is known about the knowledge and practice of healthcare
workers on the psychosocial aspects of holistic palliative care.
This study was conducted to
critically analyze the knowledge and practice of healthcare workers on psychosocial
aspects of holistic palliative care and identify their training needs.
analytical study was conducted in the public health facilities in Ohangwena
region, amongst the randomly selected sample of 56 healthcare workers. Structured
questionnaires were self administered to capture the respondent’s knowledge and
Respondents mean age was
36.2 ± 9.81.Male respondents were 20 (35.71%) while female were 36 (64.29%). Of
the 56 healthcare workers who participated in the study, 2 (3.6%) were medical
practitioners, 44 (78.6%) nurses, 1 (1.8%) physiotherapists, 3 (5.4%) social
workers and 6 (10.7%) pharmacists. Mean years of professional experience was
9.43± 9.62. Most healthcare workers 39 (69.6%) indicated not received any training on holistic palliative care.
Knowledge of correct classification
for morphine was associated with access to internet (p<0.05). There was a
significant association between those confronted by palliative care situation
and knowledge of morphine (p<0.05). Knowledge of pain intensity among
children was significantly associated with access to internet (p=0.01). Healthcare
workers lack knowledge in the psychosocial aspects of holistic palliative care
which can implicate the quality of care to patients. This study suggested training
of healthcare workers as well as internet access.
care, healthcare workers, knowledge, psychosocial care, pain, training
. African Palliative Care
Association. (2009). Palliative care situational analysis report. Ministry of Health
and Social Services. Windhoek.
. African Palliative Care Association. (2011).
African palliative care association standards for providing quality palliative care
across Africa. Retrieved from www.africanpalliativecare.org
. African Palliative Care Association. (2012).
Palliative care core curriculum. Uganda. Retrieved from www.africanpalliativecare.org
. African Palliative Care Association. (2013).
Palliative care for women living with HIV and cervical cancer. Kampala, Uganda.
Retrieved from www.africanpalliativecare.org
. Andershed, B., Sims, M. T., Authors, F.,
Davison, G., Davidson, J. E., Powers, K., … Fish, A. (2007). Palliative care teams
and organisational capability. Palliative Medicine, 24(1), 60–67. http://doi.org/10.1108/13527590210433357.
. APC. (2014). Effective methods of teaching
palliative care. A guide for educators and trainers in Africa. Kampala, Uganda.
Retrieved from www.africanpalliativecare.org
. Back, A. L., Steinhauser, K. E., Kamal,
A. H., & Jackson, V. A. (2016). Building resilience for palliative care clinicians :
An approach to burnout prevention based on individual skills and workplace factors.
Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2016.02.002.
. Bronheim, S. M., Can, E., & Anthony,
B. J. (2015). Improving care coordination for African American and Hispanic children
with special healthcare needs. Journal of Children’s Services, 10(1), 45–56. http://doi.org/10.1108/JCS-04-2014-0023.
. Chipare, M. (2015). A health education
programme to enhance knowledge and communication skills of health care workers serving
people living with HIV/AIDS on HAART in Namibia. University of Namibia. Retrieved
. Davidson, J. E., Powers, K., Hedayat,
K. M., Tieszen, M., Kon, A. a, Shepard, E., … Armstrong, D. (2007). Clinical practice
guidelines for support of the family in the patient-centered intensive care unit:
American College of Critical Care Medicine Task Force 2004-2005. Critical Care Medicine,
35(2), 605–622. http://doi.org/10.1097/01.CCM.0000254067.14607.EB.
. Gardiner, C., Gott, M., Small, N., Payne,
S., Seamark, D., Barnes, S., … Ruse, C. (2009). Living with advanced chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease: patients concerns regarding death and dying. Palliative Medicine,
23(8), 691–697. http://doi.org/10.1177/0269216309107003.
. Global Partners in Care. (2014). For
clinical placement in hospice and palliative care in Africa. Alexandria. Retrieved
. Golafshani, N. (2003). Understanding
reliability and validity in qualitative research. The Qualitative Report, 8(4),
. HPV Information Centre. (2014). Human
papillomavirus and related cancers, Fact Sheet. Retrieved from www.hpvcentre.net
. Ministry of Gender Equality and Child
Welfare. (2009). Strengthening commitment and leadership of government to expand
HIV and AIDS response, gender issues and women’s empowerment. Journal of Petroleum
Science and Engineering, 67(3–4), 179. http://doi.org/10.1016/S0920-4105(09)00154-5.
. Ministry of Health and Social Services.
(2013). Palliative care training report. Directorate of Ohangwena region. Windhoek.
. Morgan, D. (2009). Caring for dying children:
Assessing the needs of the pediatric palliative care nurse. Pediatric Nursing, 35(2),
. Morrison, R. S., Dietrich, J., Ladwig,
S., Quill, T., Sacco, J., Tangeman, J., & Meier, D. E. (2011). The care span:
Palliative care consultation teams cut hospital costs for medicaid beneficiaries.
Health Affairs, 30(3), 454–463. http://doi.org/10.1377/hlthaff.2010.0929.
. Olsman, E., Leget, C., Onwuteaka-Philipsen,
B., & Willems, D. (2014). Should palliative care patients’ hope be truthful,
helpful or valuable? An interpretative synthesis of literature describing healthcare
professionals’ perspectives on hope of palliative care patients. Palliative Medicine,
28(1), 59–70. http://doi.org/10.1177/0269216313482172.
. Selman, L., Young, T., Vermandere, M.,
Stirling, I., & Leget, C. (2014). Research priorities in spiritual care: An
international survey of palliative care researchers and clinicians. Journal of Pain
and Symptom Management, 48(4), 518–531. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2013.10.020.
. Tan, A., Seah, A., Chua, G., Lim, T. K., & Phua, J. (2014). Impact of a palliative care initiative on end-of-life care in the general wards: a before-and-after study. Palliative Medicine, 28(1), 34–41. http://doi.org/10.1177/0269216313484379.
. The United Republic of Tanzania. (2005). Guidelines for home based care services. Ministry of Health. Dar es Salaam.