The advances of medical technologies have not only prolonged human life span, but also extended suffering period for the patients with incurable medical diseases. Hospice movement was developed to help these patients keep dignity and lives peaceful at the end of their life. Since many patients prefer to spend the last moment of life at home with their family, hospice home care has become very popular worldwide. The purpose of this study for a promotion and development of hospice home care in Korea, and features basic research on medical profession's knowledge and attitudes to hospice home care. This study which was used for the research questionnaires developed by the researcher that were answered by 100 physicians and 127 nurses in a general hospital. Data were collected from April 22, 2002 to May 10, 2002. The SPSS was used to make a comparative analysis of the frequency, percentile, ANOVA, and x2-test. The results of the study were as follows; 1.The medical profession showed high level of knowledge of the definition and philosophy of hospice. However, the physician group of the examinees showed insufficient knowledge of the fact that hospice care includes bereavement care, while the nurse group's response to the same question showed a significant difference(x2=10.752, p=.001). 2.For whom the hospice home care is provided, 95.6% of the respondents showed very high level of knowledge as answering that the incurable terminal illness patients and their families are the beneficiaries of hospice care. The respondents counted nurses, volunteers, pastors, physicians and social workers, consecutively, as hospice care providers. More nurse were positive toward pastors than physicians in regarding as a hospice care provider by a significant difference(x2=11.634, p=.001). 3.For when to referral hospice home care to the patients, only 34.2% answered that patients with less than 6 months of survival time are advised to receive hospice care, reflecting very low level of knowledge. 23.0% of the physicians and 48.0% of the nurses answered that hospice care should be provided when death is imminent, making a significant difference between the two groups(x2=6.413, p=.000). 4.To promote hospice activities, 87.2% pointed out that it is crucial to make general people, including those engaging in the medical field, more aware of hospice. 79.7% answered that a national hospice management should be developed, marking a significant difference between the physician group and nurse group(x2=10.485, p=.001). 5.Advantages of hospice home care are 87.2% responded that patients can have better rest at home receiving hospice home care. Economical merit was brought forward as one of the advantages also, where there was a significant difference between the physicians group and nurse group(x2=7.009, p=.008). 6.The medical professions' attitude to hospice home care are 92.8% of the physicians answered that they would advise incurable terminally ill patients to be discharged from hospital, with 44.3% of them advising the patients to receive hospice home care after leaving the hospital. From the nurses' point of view, 20.9% of the terminally ill patients are being referred to hospice home care after discharge, which makes a significant difference from the physicians' response(x2=19.121, p=.001). 7. 30.6% of physicians have referred terminally ill patients to hospice home care, 75.9% of whom were satisfied with their decision. Those physicians who have never referred their patients to hospice home care either did not know how to do it(66.7%) or were afraid of losing trust by giving the patients an impression of giving up(27.3%). 94.9% of the physicians responded that they would refer their last stage patients to a doctor who is involving palliative care. 8.Only 36.2% of nurses have suggested to physicians that refer the terminally ill patients discharged from the hospital to hospice home care. Once suggested, 95.8% of the physicians have accepted the suggestion.
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