Palliative care training: a survey among physicians in Australia and Europe

Document Type


Publication details

Nilstun,T, Lofmark, R, Mortier, F, Bosshard, G, Cartwright, CM, van der Heide, A, Norup, M, Simonato, L & Onwuteaka-Philipsen, BD 2006, 'Palliative care training: a survey among physicians in Australia and Europe', Journal of Palliative Care, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 105-110.

Peer Reviewed



The purpose of this paper is to present data about the level and background characteristics of physicians' training in palliative care in Australia (AU), Belgium (BE), Denmark (DK), Italy (IT), the Netherlands (NL), Sweden (SE) and Switzerland (CH) (n=16,486). The response rate to an anonymous questionnaire differed between countries (39%-68%). In most countries approximately half of all responding physicians had any formal training in palliative care (median: 3-10 days). Exceptions were NL (78%) and IT (35%). The most common type of training was a postgraduate course. Physicians in nursing home medicine (only in NL), geriatrics, oncology (not in NL), and general practice had the most training. In all seven countries, physicians with such training discussed options for palliative care and options to forgo life-sustaining treatment more often with their patients than did physicians without. Irrespective of earlier palliative care training, 87%-98% of the physicians wanted extended training.

Find in your library