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Instruments for assessing nurses´ palliative care knowledge and skills in specialised care setting: an integrative review.

Soikkeli-Jalonen, Anu; Stolt, Minna; Hupli, Maija; Lemetti, Terhi; Kennedy, Catriona; Kydd, Angela; Haavisto, Elina


Anu Soikkeli-Jalonen

Minna Stolt

Maija Hupli

Terhi Lemetti

Angela Kydd

Elina Haavisto


Aims and objectives: To examine the content and reported psychometric properties of instruments for assessing nurses´ palliative care knowledge and skills in specialised healthcare units. Background: Knowledge of palliative care, and competence in the delivery of care, are essential. Assessment of competence is an important means of evaluating the knowledge and skills of practitioners in order to improve the quality of care provided for patients and their families. Design: An integrative review. Methods: A systematic literature search was conducted in November 2018 in five databases: CINAHL, PubMed (Medline), Cochrane, Scopus and Web of Science. The quality assessment was conducted using the Joanna Briggs Institute´s (JBI) Checklist for Analytical Cross-Sectional Studies. The data was analysed using content analysis. PRISMA guidelines were followed to ensure explicit reporting. Results: Overall, 5,413 studies were identified and 23 met the inclusion criteria. Nurses’ knowledge and skills, as assessed by the instruments, were: 1) care for the patient, 2) care for the patient´s family and 3) professional requirements. Ten instruments were identified assessing nurses’ knowledge and skills through knowledge tests and skill-evaluation self-tests. The psychometric properties of the instruments were reported to varying degrees, mainly focusing on internal consistency and content validation. Conclusions: Nurses´ knowledge and skills were seen to contribute to the holistic care of the patient and his or her family, and the possession of adequate information and skills is essential when dealing with death and dying. The instruments are commonly available and potentially reliable, although reliability must be determined with caution, so validation studies in other cultures are recommended. Relevance to clinical practice: These results could be utilised to improve the quality of palliative care by evaluating the knowledge and skills of nursing staff, or when considering the needs of palliative care education.


SOIKKELI-JALONEN, A., STOLT, M., HUPLI, M., LEMETTI, T., KENNEDY, C., KYDD, A. and HAAVISTO, E. 2020. Instruments for assessing nurses´ palliative care knowledge and skills in specialised care setting: an integrative review. Journal of clinical nursing [online], 29(5-6), pages 736-757. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 24, 2019
Online Publication Date Jan 19, 2020
Publication Date Mar 31, 2020
Deposit Date Nov 28, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jan 20, 2021
Journal Journal of clinical nursing
Print ISSN 0962-1067
Electronic ISSN 1365-2702
Publisher Wiley Open Access
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 29
Issue 5-6
Pages 736-757
Keywords Palliative care; Terminal care; Nursing; Instrument; Psychometrics; Knowledge; Skills; Assessing; Integrative review
Public URL


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