Palliative and end-of-life care education in prelicensure nursing curricula: A nationwide survey in an Arab country

Nurse Educ Today. 2021 Jan;96:104644. doi: 10.1016/j.nedt.2020.104644. Epub 2020 Oct 23.


Background: In the Arab and Islamic world, data on palliative and end-of-life (PEOL) care education are minimal.

Objectives: The current study's primary aim was to identify what PEOL care education is delivered to undergraduate nurses in Egypt and the teaching strategies used to deliver this education. A secondary aim was to assess the feasibility of using online surveys in nursing research in Egypt.

Design: This is a cross-sectional survey.

Settings: Ten randomly selected faculties of nursing across Egypt.

Participants: Nursing educators who were working at three academic departments; Medical-Surgical Nursing, Critical Care Nursing, and Gerontological Nursing; in the participating faculties.

Methods: After face-to-face recruitment of participants, data were collected using an online questionnaire with an adjunctive use of paper questionnaires. The questionnaire assessed participants' and courses' characteristics, the inclusion of the PEOL Care Index content in the surveyed courses, and teaching strategies used to deliver this content.

Results: A total of 95 nursing educators were involved in the current study (response rate = 86.4%). All participants were female, and 87.4% responded via online questionnaires. The overall coverage of the PEOL care content ranged from 76% to 100%. End-of-life care and spiritual care were the least frequently reported PEOL care topics; on average, by 19.6% and 36% of the educators, respectively. Lecture was the most frequently used teaching strategy, followed by clinical field practice (mean percentages of utilization: 77.7% and 53.6%, respectively).

Conclusions: In Egypt, most PEOL care topics are covered in undergraduate nursing curricula. Yet, educating these topics is predominantly theoretical. End-of-life care and spiritual care are the least frequently covered PEOL care topics. Online surveys are feasible for multisite curricular assessment, and this feasibility may be augmented by face-to-face recruitment of participants and adjunctive use of paper questionnaires.

Keywords: Arab; Curriculum; Education, nursing, baccalaureate; Egypt; Feasibility studies; Online survey; Palliative care; Teaching strategy.

MeSH terms

  • Arabs
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Curriculum*
  • Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate*
  • Egypt
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Humans
  • Palliative Care*
  • Students, Nursing*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Terminal Care*