Physicians and nurses knowledge and attitudes towards advance directives for cancer patients in Saudi Arabia

Author(s): Isamme AlFayyad

Background: Advance Directives (ADs) empowers patients to make end-of-life needs should they lose their capacity to make medical decisions. This study aimed to investigate physicians’ and nurses’ knowledge and attitudes toward Advance Directives (ADs) for cancer patients. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted using a newly developed Knowledge and Attitudes toward Advance Directives (KAADs) scale. The study was carried out among a sample of physicians and nurses in three specialized area providing care for cancer patients at a tertiary care hospital. Main outcome variables were the total scores of knowledge and attitudes toward ADs. Results: A total of 111 physicians and 170 nurses participated in this study. Most physicians were men (95, 80.5%), whereas most nurses were women (147, 86.5%). The mean (standard deviation; SD) total knowledge score was 6.8 (4.0) for physicians and 9.1 (3.0) for nurses (p < 0.001).