The development of the physicians' end-of-life care attitude scale

Marcia Levetown, Bert Hayslip, Jennifer Peel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The Physicians' End-of-Life Care Attitude Scale (PEAS) was developed as an outcome measure for palliative care education. PEAS assesses the willingness of medical trainees to care for dying patients. Sixty-four Likert-type questions were created on the basis of discussions with focus groups of medical trainees, then 'administered to sixty-two medical students and residents. Total PEAS scores as well as personal preparation and professional role subscales (where higher scores indicated greater concern) possessed excellent internal consistency and reliability. In addition, there were substantial correlations between PEAS scores and the CA-Dying scale, a measure of laypersons' fears about interacting with dying persons. Thus, PEAS adequately assesses the unique communication concerns of physicians in training regarding working with dying persons and their families. Correlations between PEAS scores and age were negative, while those who had experienced the death of a loved one had higher PEAS scores than those who did not. This suggests that for some persons, life experiences may lessen difficulties in dealing with dying persons, while for others, personal losses may exacerbate such concerns. The utility of PEAS in evaluating the efficacy of palliative care education as well as its potential to measure medical trainee's willingness to care for the terminally ill is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-333
Number of pages11
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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