Medication safety challenges in the palliative care setting: Nurses' perspectives

Hanan Khalil, Peter Poon, Anny Byrne, Eli Ristevski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Aim: To explore medication safety issues faced by general and palliative care community nurses working in rural and remote palliative care domiciliary settings. Method: An online survey for nurses working in rural communities was conducted across the South East region of rural Victoria, Australia. Nurses from 18 community based health care organisations across the region were invited to participate in an anonymous survey addressing medication safety issues in the palliative care settings. Qualitative data obtained from the open-ended survey questions were analysed inductively. Results: A total of 29 nurses completed the survey (response rate 28% from potential respondents). Most of the nurses were working in a rural practice providing a mixed model of community palliative care and community nursing. Medication safety issues raised by the nurses included; errors associated with dose administration aids, frequency of medications reviews undertaken by clinical pharmacists of clients’ medications, high occurrence of medications error reporting, lack of awareness of medications initiated by nurses and cytotoxic medications handling. Conclusion: Targeted interventions addressing the identified issues raised by community general and palliative care nurses have the potential to improve medication safety in the domiciliary palliative care setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)640-644
Number of pages5
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


  • Cytotoxic
  • Dose administration aids
  • Medication safety
  • Nurses
  • Palliative care

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