Factors That Influence Attitudes Toward End-of-Life Care Among Medical Students: Nationwide Survey for Fourth-Year Korean Medical Students

Do Yeun Kim, Kyong Jee Kim, Sung Joon Shin, Dae Seog Heo, Soon Nam Lee, Eun Mi Nam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background: Positive attitudes for end-of-life (EOL) care along with adequate education are key factors for the provision of quality EOL care. This national study was conducted to identify the factors that influence attitudes toward EOL care on medical students. Method: An anonymous survey was designed and administered to fourth-year medical students at all 41 medical schools in Korea. Topics related to EOL care were assessed in classroom teaching, bedside teaching, and feedback experiences during clinical clerkships. Seven questions for self-rated attitudes and affecting factors were analyzed toward EOL care. Results: With a response rate of 49.2%, the median number of topics recognized by the students as having been delivered was 5 of 11 topics in classroom lectures and 1 of 8 topics in clinical experience. Although few (21.2%) participants indicated that they felt ready for EOL care practice, nevertheless, most felt that they should have adequate knowledge of and preparation for clinical competency in EOL care. Several parameters including respondent’s demographics and exposure to EOL care topics in classroom and in bedside teaching influenced the responses to all 7 attitude questions. However, having more than 1 bedside experience was the only factor positively affecting all attitudinal measures. Conclusions: Clinical experience related to EOL care seems to be the utmost priory in fostering positive attitudes and competency among medical students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)460-465
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was supported by the Korean Society for Hospice and Palliative Care.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2019.


  • attitude
  • clinical clerkship
  • education
  • medical students
  • terminal care
  • undergraduate


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