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Table 1 Summary of literature on the public’s knowledge or awareness of PC

From: Examining public knowledge, attitudes and perceptions towards palliative care: a mixed method sequential study

Author (Country of Origin), Year Aim Method, Sample Size Findings
Wallace (Scotland), 2003 [10] To investigate pubic knowledge and understanding of PC Postal Survey, n = 668 32% had no knowledge and 49% had some knowledge of PC. Believed PC to be for patients with a terminal diagnosis of cancer
Claxton-Oldfield (Canada), 2004 [11] To evaluate people’s understanding of PC Atlantic Canada In person survey, n = 89 75.3% had never heard of PC. Believed PC to be for patients with a terminal diagnosis of cancer
Benini et al. (Italy), 2011 [12] To examine the awareness of PC among Italians and their perception of the needs of patients with incurable illness In person survey, n = 1897 40.6% had never heard of PC. Believed it to be non-curative, for terminal patients, and it improves QoL
Hirai et al. (Japan), 2011 [13] To explore public awareness, knowledge, and readiness for PC services Survey, n = 3984 63.1% had no knowledge of PC, and only 0.5% were using PC services. 18.6% knew about PC but did not know their availability
MacLoed et al. (New Zealand), 2012 [14] To investigate New Zealanders views of and local hospice Online survey, n = 1011 Reasonable understanding of PC reported, seen to provide comfort to people with terminal illness
McIlfatrick et al. (UK), 2013 [15] To establish awareness and attitudes of the general public in Northern Ireland towards PC Online and postal survey, n = 600 75% had little/no knowledge of PC, 83% had never heard of PC. Associated with older people and cancer with the aim of achieving a peaceful death
McIlfatrick et al. (UK), 2014 [16] To explore public perceptions of PC and identify strategies to raise awareness Semi-structured telephone survey, n = 50 Most had a general knowledge of PC, generally associated with dying and cancer.
Boucher et al. (USA), 2018 [17] To understand participant knowledge PC and acceptability a new community based PC model Focus Groups n = 18 Participants had varying knowledge of PC
Roulston et al. (Canada), 2018 [18] To gauge Canadian views on PC Online survey, n = 1540 43% were “somewhat aware” of PC
Yim et al. (Korea), 2018 [19] To navigate public awareness of PC Online survey, n = 1500 60.5% had no knowledge of PC
Koslov et al. (USA), 2018 [20] To measure PC knowledge in laypersons and how different socioeconomic groups perform on PaCKS Online survey, n = 301 Participants had poor knowledge of PC, with an average score < 50% on PaCKS.
Shalev et al. (USA), 2018) [21] To examine palliative and hospice care awareness, misperceptions, and receptivity among community-dwelling adults Telephone survey, n = 800 73% were unable to define PC. > 50% had at least one misperception, most commonly was to associate PC with EOL care
Westerlund et (Sweden), 2018 [22] To investigate awareness of PC in general Swedish population Online survey, n = 2020 41% had no awareness of PC and 43% had some awareness.
AbdulRaheem et al., (Nigeria), 2019 [23] To establish current levels of awareness attitudes towards PC among the general public in Nigeria Survey, n = 564 Knowledge came from personal experience working in healthcare or using PC. Gender (female) and previous experience positively influenced awareness
Alkhudairi (Saudi Arabia), 2019 [24] To evaluate awareness, knowledge, and beliefs of the Saudi adult population regarding Online survey, n = 1987 16.2% knew what PC was, 22.8% had heard of PC, and 34.4% believed PC can reduce physical suffering
Huo et al. (USA), 2019 [25] To examine knowledge penetration of PC in adults Survey, n = 3194 71% had no knowledge of PC
Taber (USA), 2019 [26] To explore knowledge and beliefs about PC among the general public Survey, n = 1162 Respondents who perceived themselves to know a lot about PC were often no less likely to report inaccurate knowledge or negative beliefs (versus accurate and positive, respectively).