Clinical staff perceptions on the quality of end-of-life care in an Australian acute private hospital: a cross-sectional survey

Rosemary Saunders*, Courtney Glass, Karla Seaman, Karen Gullick, Julie Andrew, Anne Wilkinson, Ashwini Davray

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)


Objective. To explore the perceptions of clinical staff on the quality of end-of-life care in an acute private hospital. Methods. A descriptive cross-sectional study with a convenience sample of clinical staff in an acute private hospital were surveyed using a validated end-of-life survey. Data from the surveys were analysed using descriptive statistics for quantitative responses and inductive content analysis for the open-ended responses. Results. Overall, 133 staff completed the survey. Of these, 107 had cared for a dying patient in the hospital. In total, 87.6% of participants felt confident in their ability to recognise a dying patient and 66.7% felt confident in their ability to talk to the patient and family. Almost one-third had not received specific training in the area. Conclusions. Hospitals need to take the lead in ensuring end-of-life care processes are embedded across clinical areas. This includes providing staff with end-of-life care education and support in the delivery of end-of-life care. These strategies will facilitate safe and quality end-of-life care, including better collaboration between patients, families and staff. What is known about the topic? Key to providing quality end-of-life care in hospitals are strategic guidelines that support good clinical governance and adequately trained staff to deliver the care. What does the paper add? This study highlights the importance of clinical staff in all areas having skills and confidence in providing care to dying patients and their families. What are the implications for practitioners? It is important that all health practitioners implement strategies to overcome gaps in staff education and support, to ensure all patients and families receive quality end-of-life care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)771-777
Number of pages7
JournalAustralian Health Review
Issue number6
Early online date10 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Publisher 2021. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • hospitals, private
  • nursing
  • health professional, hospital
  • mixed-methods
  • end-of-life care
  • palliative care
  • terminal care
  • hospitals
  • health professional
  • private; nursing
  • hospital; mixed-methods


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