Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Committee Chair

Jill Parker


Palliative care (PC) is an interdisciplinary approach that specifically focuses on improving quality of life for people living with chronic, life-limiting illnesses (Kelley & Morrison, 2015). Ideally, PC should be initiated at the time of diagnosis. Research suggest that PC referrals are often delayed until there is a clearly terminal event, leading to unnecessary suffering from preventable symptoms and poor quality of life (Wilson, Avalos, & Dowling, 2016). The aim of this MSN thesis was to determine what barriers exist in the primary care setting to identifying and/or referring patients to PC programs. A descriptive study was performed utilizing an electronic survey questionnaire that was distributed to Registered Nurses (RNs) working in primary care practices. Barriers identified were physician reluctance to communicate a terminal prognosis and physician discomfort in discussing end of life planning with their patients.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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Nursing Commons