End-of-Life Issues in UK Medical Schools

Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2015 Sep;32(6):634-40. doi: 10.1177/1049909114530492. Epub 2014 Apr 10.


Objective: A descriptive study to determine the current status of end-of-life (EOL) issues in UK medical schools.

Methods: A brief questionnaire was mailed to the 31 medical schools in the United Kingdom in the spring of 2013. Data analysis consisted of frequency distributions.

Results: All schools offered some exposure to the topic of dying, death and bereavement, and palliative care, although the orientation had increased somewhat from an earlier study in 2000. The palliative medicine specialist and the nurse specialist in palliative care are the most consistent members of the team. Most schools have hospice participation, with time spent with a hospice patient increasing over the period.

Discussion: Data suggest that UK medical schools have addressed EOL issues. These findings should have significance for medical schools considering changes in their EOL offerings.

Keywords: UK medical schools; death and dying; end-of-life issues; hospice; palliative medicine.

MeSH terms

  • Education, Medical*
  • Humans
  • Palliative Care / methods*
  • Schools, Medical*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Terminal Care / methods*
  • United Kingdom