Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Danny D. Lee
Despite hospice and palliative care services being available for patients at the end-of-life, it remains an easily accessible health care service which has been mostly underutilized and/or misunderstood. For this project, the practice problem was underutilization of hospice and palliative care services. A systematic review of the literature which focused on under usage of end-of-life care was conducted. MEDLINE, CINAHL, and ProQuest Nursing and Allied Source databases were searched (2005 to 2017). Studies that evaluated interventions for increasing hospice and palliative care services were selected. Conceptual variables included studies that addressed the under usage of end-of-life care. Kolcoba's comfort theory, Parse's theory of human becoming and Chochinov's dignity model was included to identify the issue, gather the data, and help transfer researched data into practice. The tools applied for analysis and synthesis were the appraisal of guidelines research and evaluation and the grading of recommendations, assessment, development and evaluation. The under usage of hospice and palliative care according to this systematic review, has resulted in (a)suffering negative effects on patients at the end of life, who do not receive adequate palliative or comfort care, (b) additional distress for families dealing with grief and denial, and (c) may result in unneeded acute care, adding significantly to the cost of care. This doctoral project formed a cogent set of recommendations consisting of, communication guidance and community education for a local hospice agency and the community. The contribution of positive social change in this community was through education and knowledge to bridge the gap into practice and improve end-of-life care in the community.