Nearly a third of people think palliative care is only available in hospices and hospitals in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, rather than at home.
The findings are part of the All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care (AIIHPC) research to coincide with palliative care week (until 9 September).
Four out of five respondents thought palliative care could only be offered by specialist teams, the research found.
Researcher Dr Bridget Johnston from Trinity College, Dublin, spoke to 75 patients who were using specialist palliative care and 69 caregivers.
She discovered ‘that misperceptions about palliative care are common among people receiving this care and caregivers.’
She called for more work to inform patients and help them make the right choices for their care.
Karen Charnley, head of AIIHPC institute said: ‘Hospices and hospitals are key for the provision of palliative care, especially for people with complex needs, but many people will receive palliative care within their own community.’
She added that people should not be afraid to ask healthcare professionals for help with palliative care.
Mary Hinds, the director of nursing and allied health professions at The Public Health Agency said: ‘It is important to help people understand that a palliative care approach can be provided across all care settings including people’s own homes, often by the professionals who have been involved in the individual’s care, so that their quality of life is improved and also the experience for those important to them.’