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Anales del Sistema Sanitario de Navarra

versión impresa ISSN 1137-6627


GUARDIA MANCILLA, P. et al. Perceptions of health care professionals about end-of-life care, obstacles and ethical dilemmas in hospitals, primary care and nursing homes. Anales Sis San Navarra [online]. 2018, vol.41, n.1, pp.35-46. ISSN 1137-6627.


This study compares the perceptions of physicians and nurses regarding professional practice, perceived obstacles and ethical dilemmas in end-of-life care in primary care (PC), hospitals and nursing homes (NH).


Descriptive, cross-sectional and multicentre study. Intentional sampling of physicians and nurses with more than four months professional practice from four hospitals, five PC centres and twenty-nine NH in Granada was carried out. An ad hoc questionnaire was developed to assess perception of professional practice in eight dimensions (structure and processes of care, physical, psychological, social, spiritual, cultural, ethical aspects and care for the dying), frequency of ethical dilemmas, and obstacles to optimum care. Scores of different settings were compared using the ANOVA test and post hoc analysis.


A total of 378 professionals participated, 215 (56.9%) from hospitals, 97 (25.7%) from PC and 66 (17.5%) from NH. NH professionals were older and had more professional experience than those from PC and hospitals, and they also rated both the institution and their own professional practice significantly better (p<0.01) than other professionals with respect to the dimensions of structure and processes of care, physical, psychological, social, spiritual, cultural aspects and care for the dying. Psychological and ethical aspects were the worst valued in all settings, with no differences regarding ethical aspects. Fewer ethical dilemmas were identified by PC professionals, while NH professionals perceived greater obstacles to end-of-life care in relation to other settings.


Primary care and hospitalization presented similar results on the perception of end-of-life care, and lower results than those of nursing homes, although in these centres more ethical dilemmas and more obstacles were identified.

Palabras clave : Multicentre study; Palliative care; Primary care; Hospitalization; Nursing homes.

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