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The purpose of this study was to investigate attitudes and subjective norms as they relate to hospice care in Korea and to explain the relationships, individual characteristics, and choice intention regarding hospice care from the viewpoint of the general public. A questionnaire framed within the Theory of Reasoned Action by Ajzen and Fishbein with regard to attitudes and subjective norms concerning hospice care was administered to 248 adult subjects. Based on the intention of whether or not to choose hospice care, subjects were grouped as intenders or nonintenders. Choice intention for hospice care differed according to sex, religion, experiences of medical treatment, ill news of acquaintances, and notice to patient of incurable disease upon diagnosis. Attitudes and subjective norms regarding hospice care fell in the midrange. Choice intenders for hospice had higher scores on items regarding attitudes towards hospices than nonintenders, except in the item of "hospice will separate me from other person." Choice intenders also had higher scores for subjective norms regarding hospice care than nonintenders for all items evaluated. We suggest that the development of strategies for hospice publicity should be based on prevailing attitudes and subjective norms because individual characteristics and illness experiences of acquaintances are related to choice intention for hospice care.
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