Measuring Palliative Care-Related Knowledge, Attitudes, and Confidence in Home Health Care Clinicians, Patients, and Caregivers: A Systematic Review

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of palliative medicine




attitude; home care; knowledge; palliative care; systematic review


Integrating palliative care services in the home health care (HHC) setting is an important strategy to provide care for seriously ill adults and improve symptom burden, quality of life, and caregiver burden. Routine palliative care in HHC is only possible if clinicians who provide this care are prepared and patients and caregivers are well equipped with the knowledge to receive this care. A key first step in integrating palliative care services within HHC is to measure preparedness of clinicians and readiness of patients and caregivers to receive it. The objective of this systematic review was to review existing literature related to the measurement of palliative care-related knowledge, attitudes, and confidence among HHC clinicians, patients, and caregivers. We searched PubMed, CINAHL, Web of Science, and Cochrane for relevant articles between 2000 and 2021. Articles were included in the final analysis if they (1) reported specifically on palliative care knowledge, attitudes, or confidence, (2) presented measurement tools, instruments, scales, or questionnaires, (3) were conducted in the HHC setting, (4) and included HHC clinicians, patients, or caregivers. Seventeen articles were included. While knowledge, attitudes, and confidence have been studied in HHC clinicians, patients, and caregivers, results varied significantly across countries and health care systems. No study captured knowledge, attitudes, and confidence of the full HHC workforce; notably, home health aides were not included in the studies. Existing instruments did not comprehensively contain elements of the eight domains of palliative care outlined by the National Consensus Project (NCP) for Quality Palliative Care. A comprehensive psychometrically tested instrument to measure palliative care-related knowledge, attitudes, and confidence in the HHC setting is needed.


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