1445 - Level of palliative care education among oncology nurses in the state of Qatar

Date 28 September 2012
Event ESMO Congress 2012
Session Publication Only
Topics Palliative Care
Presenter Azza Hassan
Authors A.A. Hassan1, G.F. Abu Zeinah2, S.G. Al-Kindi3
  • 1Oncology/haematology Departement, Al Amal HospitalHamad Medical Corporation, QA- - Doha/QA
  • 2Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, N/A - Doha/QA
  • 3Medical College, Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, N/A - Doha/QA



Formal Palliative Care (PC) education is lacking in the Middle Eastern state of Qatar. This study was done to assess the need for PC education among oncology nurses in Qatar.


A self-constructed questionnaire was distributed to 115 nurses at the Qatar National Center for Cancer Care and Research in March 2012.


One hundred fifteen nurses responded to the questionnaire. The majority (87.8%) were female. While 60% had more than ten years of work experience, only 31% had received formal training in PC with only 6.1% having completed postgraduate training. The majority of responders (75%) attributed this issue to unavailability of PC courses rather than lack of time, interest or financial issues. Currently, only 16.7% did not express interest in the field, with 56% showing some kind of interest. In terms of knowledge, 54% of responders were familiar with the WHO ladder for pain relief. Only 43.6% know about Palliative Performance Scale and half of all nurses know the Edmonton Symptom Assesment System. Overall, 56% of the nurses indicated a need for training in more than one aspect. These aspects included training in care of the dying patients (14.6 %), communication strategies (22%), caregiver support (10.6%), psycho-social care (15%), pain management (10.2%), other symptom management (13%) and other ethical/spiritual issues (14.2%).


There is a clear deficiency in formal PC education among the nurses at the NCCCR in Qatar. This is reflected by their lack of experience and exposure to PC, and their mediocre knowledge in the field. This could be attributed to the fact that formal PC service was introduced only recently in Qatar (2008). Formal training courses in PC nursing are required.


All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.