Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Sheila Melander

Clinical Mentor

Dr. Anna Kalema

Committee Member

Dr. Candice Falls


Background: To conduct a needs assessment to identify areas of opportunity for increased awareness of the interdisciplinary medicine/pulmonary intensive care unit (MICU) staffs’ knowledge of palliative care and identify potential barriers to initiating referrals for palliative care consultations. Then provide an educational intervention and assess effectiveness with a post interventions assessment of referrals. The goal of this project is to increase referrals for palliative care consults.

Methods: A pre-/post-survey design will be utilized to assess palliative care knowledge to identify barriers to palliative care consultation referrals. An educational intervention that addresses palliative care knowledge deficits and addresses barriers will be provided between the pre- and post-survey. A prospective and retrospective chart review will also be performed to determine whether the educational intervention results in any change in palliative care referrals for consultations.

Results: Statistical significance was noted in the overall knowledge scores between pre and post survey groups (p < .001). Among the pre and post samples, there was a significant association between intubation status and palliative care initiation (p = 0.047). Statistical significance was noted between initiation of palliative care services among the pre and post groups (p = .036).

Conclusion: Identifying and addressing palliative care barriers with targeted education can be an effective solution. This intervention was effective at increasing palliative care knowledge, initiation, and comfort with patient/family discussions. Addressing how to accomplish greater provider inclusion in future studies will be an integral component to improving palliative care services utilization.