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Palliative care knowledge, information sources, and beliefs: Results of a national survey of adults in the USA

  • Eric Adjei Boakye (a1), Kahee A. Mohammed (a2), Nosayaba Osazuwa-Peters (a3) (a4), Min Jee Lee (a1), Lauren Slomer (a1), Damilola Emuze (a1) and Wiley D. Jenkins (a1)...



Despite its established benefits, palliative care (PC) is not well known among patients and family/caregivers. From a nationally representative survey, we sought to assess the following associated with PC: knowledge, knowledge sources, and beliefs.


Data were drawn from the Health Information National Trends Study (HINTS 5 Cycle 2), a cross-sectional, survey of non-institutionalized adults aged 18+ years in the USA. Data were weighted and assessed by proportional comparison and multivariable logistic regression.


A total of 3504 respondents were identified, and approximately 29% knew about PC. In the adjusted model, less PC knowledge was associated with: lower age (those aged <50), male gender, lower education (<high school graduation or high school graduate), and non-internet users. A little over half (55%) of respondents accessed healthcare providers first for PC information, and 80% considered providers the most trusted source of PC information. Most of the participants strongly/somewhat agreed that the goal of PC is to help friends and family cope with a patient's illness (90.6%), offer social and emotional support (93.4%), and manage pain and other physical symptoms (95.1%). Similarly, a majority (83.3%) strongly/somewhat agreed that it is a doctor's obligation to inform all patients with cancer about the option of PC.

Significance of results

PC knowledge was generally low (1-in-3 respondents knew of PC), with significant differences according to age, gender, education, and internet use. These data provide a baseline from which PC education policies and interventions may be measured.


Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Eric Adjei Boakye, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Department of Population Science and Policy, 201 E. Madison Street, PO Box 19664, Springfield, IL 62794-9664. E-mail:


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Palliative care knowledge, information sources, and beliefs: Results of a national survey of adults in the USA

  • Eric Adjei Boakye (a1), Kahee A. Mohammed (a2), Nosayaba Osazuwa-Peters (a3) (a4), Min Jee Lee (a1), Lauren Slomer (a1), Damilola Emuze (a1) and Wiley D. Jenkins (a1)...


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