Objective: Despite the growing evidence against artificial nutrition and hydration (ANH) use among patients with advanced dementia, little is known about the perspectives of the health care team. This study examined the knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs of physicians and other health care providers regarding the use of ANH at the end of life (EOL). Methods: A cross-sectional survey explored the provision of EOL care using a hypothetical case scenario of a patient with advanced dementia and dysphagia. Questionnaire items were analyzed using parametric and nonparametric approaches. Results: In this sample of 323 respondents, statistical significance was found between physicians and other health care providers’ views on ANH and its related beneficial effects or health outcomes in EOL care. Discussion: Results indicate knowledge deficits in physicians and other health care professionals and highlight the need for comprehensive continuing education programs on EOL topics. Conclusion: Differences in knowledge, attitudes and beliefs regarding ANH in EOL among healthcare providers were observed and education regarding evidence based clinical guidelines are necessary.
- death and dying