The Elder Project: Evaluating End-of-Life Knowledge Among Health Care Providers

Document Type


Publication Date



The purpose of this year-long pilot study was to measure end-of-life care knowledge among health care providers (nurses, nursing assistants, therapists, spiritual care) in 5 home-care and long-term-care settings before and after attending educational sessions. The End of Life Nursing Education Consortium curriculum was used to inform 10 interactive, interprofessional educational sessions. Sessions were offered once per month for 10 months at each of the 5 partnering agencies. Quantitative data on end-of-life knowledge were gathered using a nursing-focused instrument that was modified for this study to address variation in provider role and educational level. Qualitative data via journal entries and structured interviews were also gathered. After session completion, mean scores (N = 34) improved significantly in 3 instrument categories (culture, communication, quality of life) and improved slightly in the remaining 6 instrument categories (nursing care, pain, symptom management, ethics/legal, grief and loss, and death), suggesting improved end-of-life knowledge among this sample. Qualitative results revealed participants perceived that they had gained knowledge for use in their current and future practice. Use of interactive small-group sessions focused on end-of-life care for interprofessionals was an effective method for increasing knowledge in these settings.


Copyright 2016 The Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association. A link to full text has been provided for authorized subscribers.

Publication Title

Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing

Published Citation

Mager, Diana, (January 2016) The Elder Project: Evaluating End-of-Life Knowledge Among Health Care Providers, Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing 18(1), 22-28 DOI-10.1097/NJH.0000000000000199