Journal of Undergraduate Research


palliative care services, perception study, chronic illness




Patients with chronic illnesses are often plagued with multiple side effects and secondary diagnoses that significantly limit everyday function. Managing these side effects along with the patient’s illness often requires a multidisciplinary approach to providing optimal care. Palliative Care is a growing field of medicine that delivers quality symptom management for patients with complex illnesses and symptoms. Although relatively new, evidence shows that Palliative Care interventions not only decrease the severity of side effects during the treatment process, but also improve the quality of life and feelings of well-being for the patient, and even extend length of survival. Palliative Care has even proven to reduce the cost of healthcare delivered by preventing unnecessary emergency hospitalizations and aggressive treatments. Despite its effectiveness, however, Palliative Care remains underutilized throughout the medical field and faces resistance in expansion. Researchers in other parts of the country show that much of this resistance comes from a lack of education. The majority of healthcare workers either misunderstand the purpose of Palliative Care or simply view it to be synonymous with hospice and only consider consultation at the end of a patient’s life. Intermountain Healthcare currently has established Palliative Care Programs located within Utah and central Idaho. However, no research has been done to evaluate the perception and effectiveness of those programs. The purpose of this study was to evaluate healthcare workers’ perceptions of Palliative Care and its programs within Intermountain. The intention was to provide concrete data that will inform and help create possible improvements to, and potential expansion of Palliative Care Services for the company.

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Nursing Commons