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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013, Article ID 168060, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/168060
Research Article

Perinatal Palliative Care: Barriers and Attitudes of Neonatologists and Nurses in Poland

1Pediatric Palliative Care Unit, Department of Pediatrics, Oncology, Hematology and Diabetology, Medical University of Lodz, 36/50 Sporna Street, 91-738 Lodz, Poland
2Gajusz Foundation, Pediatric Palliative Care Center, Home Hospice for Children of Lodz Region, 87 Dąbrowskiego Street, 93-271 Lodz, Poland
3Department for Diagnosis and Prevention of Congenital Malformations, Medical University of Lodz and Research Institute of Polish Mother’s Memorial Hospital, 281/289 Rzgowska Street, 93-338 Lodz, Poland
4Department of Pediatrics, Oncology, Hematology and Diabetology, Medical University of Lodz, 36/50 Sporna Street, 91-738 Lodz, Poland
5Department of Neonatology, Research Institute of Polish Mother’s Memorial Hospital, 281/289 Rzgowska Street, 93-338 Lodz, Poland

Received 9 August 2013; Accepted 8 September 2013

Academic Editors: W. W. Butt and S. Read

Copyright © 2013 Aleksandra Korzeniewska-Eksterowicz et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Objective. To identify barriers and personnel attitudes towards realization of palliative care principles in neonatological units. Study Design. An anonymous questionnaire was posted to all heads of departments and head nurses of all the 27 neonatological units in the Lodz area. Results. We received 46 (85%) questionnaires. Final analysis comprised 42 properly filled-in questionnaires (by 22 doctors and 20 nurses). In case of prenatal diagnosis of a lethal defect, 77.27% of doctors and 65% of nurses opted for informing the mother also about the possibility of pregnancy continuation and organization of palliative care after delivery. Most of respondents accepted conditions for abortion pointed by the Polish law. The most common barriers pointed out by both groups were insufficient knowledge of the personnel on palliative medicine and family preference for life sustaining treatment. Conclusions. Understanding attitudes of personnel towards palliative care and identification of barriers are a starting point for future efforts to improve the system of neonatological care.