Factors Associated with Palliative Care Knowledge Among Internal Medicine House Staff

Jeanne M. Clark, Jon D. Lurie, Michael T. Claessens, Virginia A. Reed, G. Christian Jernstedt, Sarah Goodlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


Purpose: To assess knowledge and associated factors in palliative care. Methods: Self-administered survey of 88 internal medicine house officers in 1996. Results: Twenty-one interns and 36 residents completed the survey for a response rate of 65%. Most house officers reported 1-5 hours of prior formal training in palliative care, 1-5 hours in pain management, and 6-20 hours in ethics. The mean knowledge score was 75% correct (SD=8); pain management scores were lowest (70%). Overall, interns had a significantly lower mean score than residents (70% vs. 77%; p=0.001). In multivariate analysis, only the year of residency was significantly associated with knowledge score; prior formal training in palliative care, pain management, or ethics was not. One third of house officers rated themselves as "not at all" or "only slightly" at ease in caring for a dying patient. These self-ratings were not associated with prior training or knowledge, but were higher in residents compared to interns. Conclusions: Palliative care knowledge and ease with dying patients were higher in later years of residency but were not associated with prior formal palliative care training. These data highlight the continued need to evaluate and improve training in palliative care and pain management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-257
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Palliative Care
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2003
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions(all)

Cite this

Clark, J. M., Lurie, J. D., Claessens, M. T., Reed, V. A., Jernstedt, G. C., & Goodlin, S. (2003). Factors Associated with Palliative Care Knowledge Among Internal Medicine House Staff. Journal of Palliative Care, 19(4), 253-257.