Hospice care self-efficacy among clinical medical staff working in the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) isolation wards of designated hospitals: a cross–sectional study

Ze hong Zheng, Zhong Chen Luo, You Zhang, Wallace Chi Ho Chan, Jian qiong Li, Jin Pang, Yu ling Jia, Jiao Tang*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused more than 462,417 deaths worldwide. A large number of patients with severe COVID-19 face death in hospital. Hospice care is truly a philosophy of care that delivers patient-centred care to the terminally ill and their families. Hospice care could provide many benefits for patients, families, and for hospice caregivers. The aim of this study is to investigate hospice care self-efficacy and identify its predictors among Chinese clinical medical staff in COVID-19 isolation wards of designated hospitals. Methods: A cross-sectional design was used. The Hospice Care Self-Efficacy, Self-Competence in Death Work Scale, Positive Aspects of Caregiving, and Simplified Coping Style Questionnaires were administered between February and April 2020. A total of 281 eligible medical staff responded to the questionnaires, with a response rate of ≥78.9%. Results: The mean score of hospice care self-efficacy was 47.04 (SD = 7.72). Self-efficacy was predicted by self-competence in death work (B = 0.433, P < 0.001), positive aspects of caregiving (B = 0.149, P = 0.027), positive coping (B = 0.219, P < 0.001), giving hospice care to dying or dead patients before fighting against COVID-19 (B = -1.487, P = 0.023), occupational exposure while fighting against COVID-19 (B = -5.244, P = 0.004), holding respect for life and professional sentiment as motivation in fighting against COVID-19 (B = 2.372, P = 0.031), and grade of hospital employment (B = -1.426, P = 0.024). The variables co-explained 58.7% variation of hospice care self-efficacy. Conclusion: Clinical nurses and physicians fighting COVID-19 reported a moderate level of hospice care self-efficacy during this pandemic. Exploring the traditional Chinese philosophy of life to learn from its strengths and make up for its weaknesses and applying it to hospice care may provide a new framework for facing death and dying during the COVID-19 pandemic. Continuous hospice care education to improve self-competence in death work, taking effective measures to mobilize positive psychological resources, and providing safer practice environments to avoid occupational exposure are also essential for the improvement of the hospice care self-efficacy of clinical nurses and physicians. These measures help caregivers deal effectively with death and dying while fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Article number188
Number of pages12
JournalBMC Palliative Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes

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