Higher eHealth Literacy in Nurses May Indicate Greater KAP Regarding Palliative Care

Nurses working in first-class tertiary hospitals have good levels of eHealth literacy, but there is room for overall improvement in knowledge, attitudes, and practice (KAP) regarding palliative care, according to research published in BMC Nursing.

Researchers conducted a cross-sectional survey to measure eHealth literacy scale (eHEALS) and a scale of KAP regarding palliative care, using a WeChat mini program called “Questionnaire Star.” They surveyed 546 members of the nursing staff of first-class tertiary hospitals between May 12 and May 20, 2022. Three hundred and ninety-three (71.98%) of the nurses were between the ages of 20 and 35, and 503 (91.45%) had a bachelor’s degree.

The eHEALS questionnaire measured the dimensions of application ability (5 items), judgment ability (2 items), and decision-making ability (1 item) with online health information and services. The median eHEALS score of the nurses was 32 points, with the lowest score being 8 points (5 nurses [0.92%]) and the highest score achieved was 40 points (102 nurses [18.68%]). A higher score indicated a higher level of eHealth literacy skills.

The KAP questionnaire measured knowledge (20 items), attitudes (12 items), and practice (8 items). The median total score for the KAP questionnaire among the nurses was 82 (range, 54 to 106). A higher score reflected a more knowledgeable, favorable, and proactive approach to palliative care by respondents.

The researchers calculated a Spearman rank correlation coefficient (rho) and performed a correlation analysis between eHEALS scores and total KAP scores, as well the scores of each of the KAP questionnaire parts.

The results showed the rho value between eHEALS and the overall KAP regarding palliative care was 0.189 (P <.001). The rho value between eHEALS and the 3 parts of KAP were 0.130 for knowledge, −6.622e-03 for attitudes, and 0.262 for practice.

A binary logistic regression analysis also revealed that the eHEALS score was independently associated with KAP score, when the analysis controlled for sociodemographic factors.

“Nursing staff with high e-health literacy have the ability to obtain, identify and utilize internet resources efficiently, thereby effectively solving the practical clinical problems of palliative care,” the researchers reported.

“Therefore, nursing managers should adopt various measures to comprehensively improve the eHealth literacy level of nursing staff, further enrich the knowledge of palliative care, promote positive attitudes transformation, and efficiently implement palliative care practices to promote high-quality development of palliative care,” they concluded.

Yuan N, Lv ZH, Wen, YY, et al. The relationship between eHealth literacy and palliative care knowledge, attitudes, and practice among nurses: a cross-sectional study. BMC Nurs. 2023;22(1):76. doi:10.1186/s12912-023-01237-5

This article originally appeared on Oncology Nurse Advisor