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

Nitin Joseph, S. Jayarama, Shashidhar Kotian

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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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-126
Number of pages5
JournalIndian Journal of Palliative Care
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01-07-2009


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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