Christina Metz


In an effort to identify a population possibly responsible for the underutilization of hospice care and services in northeast Mississippi, the student researcher compared the average perceptions among healthcare professionals and the general public. Having anticipated there was a significant difference between the averages of the two populations, the student researcher tested a null hypothesis that there was no statistically significant difference between the average perceptions of hospice care among healthcare professionals and the general public in northeast Mississippi. The two 37-member sample populations were formed using convenience sampling and were asked to complete a survey of knowledge and opinion-based questions to form a perception of hospice care. The student researcher performed a t-test using the average score on the “Two Cents on Hospice” surveys from each sample population to test the difference. After the statistical analysis was completed, the student researcher failed to reject the null hypothesis. However, the student researcher did find statistically significant data when comparing answers between different races and age groups of the respondents. The results of this study indicated that both healthcare professionals and the general public needed more education on what services could be offered to those who were terminally ill, as well as eligibility requirements. Recommendations were made to form sample populations using random sampling, sampling healthcare professionals and members of the general public from a larger geographical area, and asking for information to compare results of specific healthcare professions.