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Health Sciences profile

Lis Heath (nee Latta)

PositionLecturer, PhD candidate
DepartmentDepartment of Medicine (Dunedin)
QualificationsMN RN
Research summaryPalliative care education, self-efficacy and attitudes
TeachingModule Convener Palliative and End of Life Care vertical module; Co-Convener 4th year Medicine Module; Lead Tutor Early Professional Experience programme for third year medical students at Otago Medical School. I also developed the Ambulatory Medicine programme for 4th and 5th year medical students.
  • Department of Medicine Teaching Committee
  • Aotearoa National Palliative Medicine Curriculum Committee
  • Palliative Care Nurses New Zealand
ClinicalI have many years’ experience working in Hospice Palliative care, both as a Registered Nurse and as an educator. I maintain close contact with the Otago Community Hospice and remain clinically active there. Prior to that, I spent many years working in acute hospital settings, predominantly in neurosurgery / neurology as well as internal medicine, coronary care and older person's health.


I am currently undertaking a PhD exploring medical and nursing graduates' preparation, self-efficacy and attitudes towards providing palliative and end-of-life care. This mixed methods research is being carried out in three phases:

  • Phase One is a national, online survey of undergraduate medical and nursing education programmes
  • Phase Two is a national online survey of medical and nursing graduates' self-efficacy and attitudes towards providing palliative and end-of-life care, with an extended demographic survey one year post-qualification
  • Phase Three is interviews with a group of participants from the Phase two survey to explore their experiences of caring for patients at the end of life, including factors that influenced their self-efficacy and attitudes towards providing palliative and end-of-life care during their undergraduate training

This research is timely considering the ageing population, increasing prevalence of life-limiting diseases and an impending shortage in the palliative care workforce in New Zealand.


Heath, L., Egan, R., Ross, J., Iosua, E., Walker, R., & MacLeod, R. (2021). Preparing nurses for palliative and end of life care: A survey of New Zealand nursing schools. Nurse Education Today. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.nedt.2021.104822

Heath, L., Egan, R., Ross, J., Iosua, E., Walker, R., & MacLeod, R. (2020). Teaching palliative care skills. Kai Tiaki Nursing New Zealand, 26(10), 16-17.

Latta, L., & MacLeod, R. (2018). Palliative care education: An overview. In R. D. MacLeod & L. Van den Block (Eds.), Textbook of palliative care. (Online ed.) Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-31738-0_95-1

Latta, L., Tordoff, D., Manning, P., & Dent, J. (2013). Enhancing clinical skill development through an Ambulatory Medicine Teaching Programme: An evaluation study. Medical Teacher, 35(8), 648-654. doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2013.801553

Latta, L., & Ross, J. (2010). Exploring the impact of palliative care education for care assistants employed in residential aged care facilities in Otago, New Zealand. Sites, 7(2), 30-52.