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Year : 2005  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 19-22

Knowledge and attitudes of terminally ill patients and their family to palliative care and hospice services in Nigeria

Department of Radiotherapy, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan

Correspondence Address:
A Adenipekun
Department of Radiotherapy, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 16392451

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BACKGROUND: A palliative care and Hospice service is a neglected aspect of medical discipline especially in a developing country like Nigeria. With the global increase in incidence of cancer and HIV/AIDS and 70% of them presenting late, coupled with limited resources, for effective symptom control, palliative care therefore remains the only option left to improve the quality of life of the patients. OBJECTIVE: To assess the knowledge and attitudes of patients and their relations to palliative care and hospice services {PC&H} and to fashion out appropriate services for the patients. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 130 participants were studied using a questionnaire which comprised of three parts: Socio-demographic variables, Information about Knowledge and Attitudes towards PC&H. RESULTS: Sixty nine were patients while 61 were family members. Ninety four [72.3%] had no knowledge of PC&H regardless of level of education and social status. 109 [84%] agreed that symptoms of the terminally ill patients should be treated to improve their quality of life and 75% of the participants agreed that this will be better done in a Hospice. 106 [83%] participants desire to have hospice established in every community, this again was regardless of tribe CONCLUSION: There is a gross lack of knowledge about PC&H in our community as evidenced among the participants studied. However, there is a positive attitude towards PC&H suggesting a general acceptance, since there is presently no well established Hospice in Nigeria; we recommend that government and Non governmental organizations should assist in this area. A hospital based Hospice might be a starting point.

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