“Nosce te ipsum’ an Italian national survey to explore choice’s differences in End of Life (EoL) care between healthcare professionals and general public
The current debate regarding decision-making at the End-of-Life (EoL) is increasing remarkably and has spread all over the world. However, literature has paid little attention to describe choice's differences in EoL care between healthcare professionals and general public.
The aim of this study was to explore the difference between choices in EoL care made by healthcare professionals and those of the general public within the Italian context.
Setting and partecipants
In 2017, an Italian widespread survey was conducted using a snowball sampling. A total of 2038 participants completed the survey, 55.64% of which were the general public.
The main differences related to specific EoL choices made by healthcare professionals and the general public. In particular, healthcare professionals were more likely to avoid cardiopulmonary resuscitation and mechanical forms of breathing in terminal-stage conditions, and they were also more likely to be favorable towards the use of opioids to avoid suffering. Overall, healthcare professionals were also more likely to make a choice rather than express a 'not sure' answer.
The higher percentage of participants in the general public group that chose 'not sure' highlighted the importance of addressing and enhancing people's self-awareness. More cross-national investigation should help to frame the understanding of the choice's differences in EoL care between healthcare professionals and general public.
Advance directives; Autonomy; Bioethics; Death; End-of-Life; Self-awareness; Survey.