Cuidados paliativos: o que sabem e preferem os portugueses?

Translated title of the contribution: Palliative care: what do the Portuguese know and prefer?

Manuel Luís Capelas, Sílvia Patrícia Fernandes Coelho, Sandra Catarina Fonseca Simões da Silva, Bruna Ortega Burmeister, Sofia Amado Durão, Carla Marinho Teves, Ana Sofia Simões, Tânia Afonso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



Introduction: The development and accessibility of healthcare depend on the direct involvement of the citizens and patients for whom it is intended. However, they do not always have adequate knowledge to take advantage of this care, with palliative care being one of those examples. The low level of knowledge can generate myths and prejudices about this care, reduce equity in access and decrease the quality of care. Only a detailed and comprehensive assessment of the knowledge of the general public can enable educational and political campaigns to address real needs. Aim: To evaluate the knowledge of the Portuguese population regarding the concept, objectives and ways of working in palliative care. Also, to analyze the influence of sociodemographic characteristics on knowledge regarding their knowledge about palliative care. Materials and Methods: Questionnaire distributed in Holón pharmacies that adhere to mainland Portugal and islands, from July to September 2017. Accidental sample of 795 individuals over 18 years old. The data were analyzed using descriptive and analytical statistics. The sampling error of the data presented is 3.55% for a 95% confidence level. The Ethics Committee for Health of Universidade Católica Portuguesa approved this study. Results: 90.4% show a proper conceptualization of the concept of palliative care; 75.1% adequately identifies its objectives; the way of working is recognized by 87.6%. 84.6% would like to be cared for by these teams at the end of their lives and 85.7% for their family members. The words associated with palliative care by more than 50% of the participants were doctors and well-being. Virtually all sociodemographic characteristics, in one way or another, influence the results, with particular emphasis on the age group, education level and economic income. Conclusion: The participants revealed good knowledge about the concept, objectives and way of working in palliative care. Taking into account all the influential factors, despite these results, it is crucial to reinforce the process of disseminating the key concepts of palliative care to Portuguese society, as in some sectors the results obtained point to significant deficits.
Translated title of the contributionPalliative care: what do the Portuguese know and prefer?
Original languagePortuguese
Pages (from-to)60-73
Number of pages14
Journal Cadernos de Saúde
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2019


  • Palliative care
  • Portuguese
  • Knowledge
  • Preferences
  • Survey


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