Survey of clinical staff on confidence in end-of-life communications

Faculty: Medicine
Starting the conversation

This online survey of nurses and doctors dealing with elderley people approaching the end of their lives has the following objectives:
•  To assess the level of exposure to and confidence in initiating end-of-life conversations
• To identify barriers for initiating the sensitive end-of-life conversation
• To identify factors influencing the level of confidence in facing end-of-life discussions
• To propose strategies for addressing these barriers in line with the training needs and wants of the target group

The survey  is  a unique opportunity for acute care and emergency nurses and doctors  who deal with end of life issues on a regular basis to share their views and experiences on communicating bad news.

Findings will be used to identify barriers to initiating end-of-life discussions with patients and their families;  and to design educational strategies for doctors and nurses diagnosing or treating dying patients.

This research also asks about doctors and nurses' opinions on the potential for using a screening tool to determine what patients are at higher risk of in-hospital or short-term death after discharge.

 This project has been endorsed by the University of NSW Human Research Ethics Advisory Panel G (Medical & Community).

 ===> Manuscripts completed 

Cardona MLewis EShanmugam SNicholson MWilliamson MHanly LHillman K.Dissonance on perceptions of end-of-life needs between health-care providers and members of the public: Quantitative cross-sectional surveys.

March 2019

Trankle SA, Shanmugam S, Lewis E, Nicholson M, Hillman K, Cardona M.Are We Making Progress on Communication with People Who Are Near the End of Life in the Australian Health System? Nov 2018


Project team

Dr Magnolia Cardona
Faculty of Engineering
Miss Ebony Lewis
Faculty of Medicine
Professor Kenneth Mark Hillman
Faculty of Medicine

Project collaborators: External

Dr Steven Trankle
School of Medicine, University of Western Sydney
Ms Margaret Nicholson, MNurs
Intensive Care Unit, Liverpool Hospital, NSW
Dr Hatem Alkhouri
Emergency Care Institute

Key contact

Faculty of Engineering
+61 2 8738 9373