Date of Award

Summer 8-15-2016

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



Palliative care is a team-based, specialty service that improves the quality of life for individuals with serious illness and their families. However, current research suggests that this life-improving service is drastically underutilized. Patient knowledge of a healthcare service is theorized to drive utilization. If people do not know what palliative care is, they cannot be expected to seek out or accept a referral for the service. Currently, there are no psychometrically evaluated scales to assess knowledge of palliative care. The purpose of this study is to develop a reliable and valid scale that broadly measures knowledge about palliative care. An initial item pool of 38 true/false questions was developed based on extensive pilot data. The preliminary items were administered to a community sample of 614 adults aged 18-89 as well as 30 palliative care professionals. Using Exploratory and Confirmatory Factor Analysis (EFA & CFA, respectively), correlational analyses, ICC and KR-20, I assessed the reliability, stability, internal consistency, and validity of a 13-item Palliative Care Knowledge Scale (PaCKS). I investigated how scores on the PaCKS change after a brief, online educative intervention on palliative care. Results of this study indicate that the PaCKS meets or exceeds psychometric standards of scale development. This scale will be useful for clinicians and researchers interested in improving palliative care access and utilization through increasing knowledge.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Brian D. Carpenter, Thomas L. Rodebaugh

Committee Members

Denise Head, Renee Thompson, Mark Heiland


Permanent URL: https://doi.org/doi:10.7936/K7BG2MC9