Korean J Hosp Palliat Care.  2019 Dec;22(4):156-165. 10.14475/kjhpc.2019.22.4.156.

Subjective Attitudes towards Terminal Patients of Nursing Students with Clinical Practice Experience: Application of Q Methodology

  • 1Department of Nursing, Baekseok Culture University, Cheonan, Korea.
  • 2Department of Nursing, Suwon Science College, Hwaseong, Korea. hkh@ssc.ac.kr
  • 3Department of Nursing, Kongju National University, Gongju, Korea.


This study was conducted to identify subjective attitudes towards terminal patients in nursing students who had clinical practice. The types of subjective attitude were classified by applying Q methodology. According to those types, basic reference data for the development of educational programs were provided.
Thirty-four final Q samples were selected, and Q classification with a nine-point scale was performed with P samples of 43 nursing students. A key factor analysis was conducted with the collected data using the PC QUANAL program.
Nursing students' attitudes towards terminal patients were grouped into three types. The total variable was 49.96%. Students with Type 1 ("wish for life-sustaining medical treatment") thought that terminal patients accurately understood their medical condition and wanted to prolong their lives. Others with Type 2 ("need for service and support") believed that a multidisciplinary nursing system needs to be established to help terminal patients prepare for death. Students with Type 3 ("˜awareness and acceptance of death') thought that terminal patients wanted to die with dignity at a hospice unit.
This study analyzed various types of attitude towards terminal patients, as perceived by nursing students with clinical training experience. Development of educational programs for each attitude type analyzed in this study could contribute to systematic training programs for nursing students caring for terminal patients.


Students; Nursing; Terminally ill; Patients; Attitude
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