Awareness of palliative medicine among Pakistani doctors: a survey

J Pak Med Assoc. 2004 Apr;54(4):195-9.


Objective: To establish the awareness of palliative medicine in Pakistani doctors through a questionnaire.

Methods: A questionnaire was developed after consultation with the professionals working in palliative medicine. It was distributed, by hand, to a convenience sample of doctors who worked at various teaching hospitals in Pakistan. The distribution and collection of questionnaires was carried out within six months.

Results: The results suggested that 74% doctors felt that cancer was the commonest reason for the palliative care teams to be involved. Forty five percent mentioned tht pain control was their prime job; 54% said that they had some experience of palliative medicine; 64% wanted to be involved in palliative medicine; 60% thought that they broke bad news properly to the patients; 59% were satisfied with their own performance while dealing with an incurable patient (57% said that they had heard about a hospice). There was a wide range of drugs for the cancer pain.

Conclusion: Amongst Pakistani doctors, there is a lack of training in palliative medicine. A significant number of doctors are interested and they are willing to have more training in pain control, breaking bad news, communication skills and terminal care.

MeSH terms

  • Awareness*
  • Clinical Competence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Education, Medical
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Pakistan
  • Palliative Care / methods*
  • Physicians / psychology*
  • Physicians / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires