BACKGROUND: As the global population ages, palliative care is ever more essential to provide care for patients with incurable chronic conditions. However, in many countries, doctors are not prepared to care for dying patients. Palliative care education should be an urgent concern for all medical schools all around the world, including Latin America and Brazil. Advances in palliative care education require robust assessment tools for constant evaluation and improvement of educational programmes. Bandura's social cognitive theory proposes that active learning processes are mediated by self-efficacy and associated outcome expectancies, both crucial elements of developing new behaviour. The Self-Efficacy in Palliative Care (SEPC) and Thanatophobia Scales were developed using Bandura's theory to assess the outcomes of palliative care training.
OBJECTIVES: We aimed to translate and validate these scales for Brazilian Portuguese to generate data on how well doctors are being prepared to meet the needs of their patients.
DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.
SETTING: One Brazilian medical school.
PARTICIPANTS: Third-year medical students.
METHODS: The authors translated the scales following the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer's recommendations and examined their psychometric properties using data collected from a sample of 111 students in a Brazilian medical school in 2017.
RESULTS: The Brazilian versions of SEPC and Thanatophobia Scales showed good psychometric properties, including confirmatory factor analysis, replicating the original factors (factor range: 0.51-0.90), and acceptable values of reliability (Cronbach's alpha: 0.82-0.97 and composite reliability: 0.82-0.96). Additionally, the Brazilian versions of the scales showed concurrent validity, demonstrated through a significant negative correlation.
CONCLUSIONS: The Brazilian version of the scales may be used to assess the impact of current undergraduate training and identify areas for improvement within palliative care educational programmes. The data generated allow Brazilian researchers to join international conversations on this topic and educators to develop tailored pedagogical approaches.
Objectives: Euthanasia, i.e. Physician Assisted Suicide, is a highly taboo topic, which has grown unusually over the past decade in concomitance with swift advancement in medical care of terminally ill patients. The aim of this study was to assess the knowledge, awareness and attitude of Health Professions Students (HPSs) towards Euthanasia.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was carried out in all Colleges of King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences (KSAU-HS), Jeddah Campus was conducted from November & December 2019. A predesigned questionnaire written in English containing essential elements about Euthanasia was adopted to achieve the purpose of the study.
Results: A total of 522 students responded positively to the dispensed survey. 290 (55.6%) of respondents were males while 232 (44.4%) were females with a ratio of 1:1.25. We found that majority of HPSs (57%, n=298) were aware of the term euthanasia and the concept behind it. 65.1% (340) of the HPSs understood the accepted definition of euthanasia as “Physician Assisted Suicide”. However, only 19.9% (104) of HPSs agreed to ever favor euthanasia if given a choice while 47.9% (250) of them disagreed. Also, majority of them (61.4% among males and 51.7% among females) agreed that practicing religion influenced their responses to this survey.
Conclusions :The awareness about the euthanasia was fairly good among HPSs of KSAU-HS however this study identifies a dire need of introducing the bioethical concepts of practicing euthanasia and the legal issues surrounding it within the curriculum.
Introduction: An acute shortage of senior mentors saw the Palliative Medicine Initiative (PMI) combine its novice mentoring program with electronic and peer mentoring to overcome insufficient mentoring support of medical students and junior doctors by senior clinicians. A three-phased evaluation was carried out to evaluate mentees’ experiences within the new CNEP mentoring program.
Methods: Phase 1 saw use of a Delphi process to create a content-valid questionnaire from data drawn from 9 systematic reviews of key aspects of novice mentoring. In Phase 2 Cognitive Interviews were used to evaluate the tool. The tool was then piloted amongst mentees in the CNEP program. Phase 3 compared mentee’s experiences in the CNEP program with those from the PMI’s novice mentoring program.
Results: Thematic analysis of open-ended responses revealed three themes–the CNEP mentoring process, its benefits and challenges that expound on the descriptive statistical analysis of specific close-ended and Likert scale responses of the survey. The results show mentee experiences in the PMI’s novice mentoring program and the CNEP program to be similar and that the addition of near peer and e-mentoring processes enhance communications and support of mentees.
Conclusion: CNEP mentoring is an evolved form of novice mentoring built on a consistent mentoring approach supported by an effective host organization. The host organization marshals assessment, support and oversight of the program and allows flexibility within the approach to meet the particular needs of mentees, mentors and senior mentors. Whilst near-peer mentors and e-mentoring can make up for the lack of senior mentor availability, their effectiveness hinges upon a common mentoring approach.
To better support the CNEP program deeper understanding of the mentoring dynamics, policing and mentor and mentee training processes are required. The CNEP mentoring tool too needs to be validated.
Background: The ability to perceive care goals of the dying may be an indicator of future quality patient-centered care. Research conducted on end-of-life goals indicates discrepancies between patients and physicians.
Objective: The aim of this study is to compare end-of-life care goals of hospice patients and medical student perceptions of patient care goals.
Design: Hospice patients and medical students were surveyed on their care goals and perceptions, respectively, using an 11-item survey of goals previously identified in palliative care literature. Medical student empathy was measured using the Interpersonal Reactivity Index.
Settings/Participants: Eighty hospice patients and 176 medical students (97 first-year and 79 third-year) in a New York State medical school.
Results: Medical students ranked 7 of the 11 care goals differently than hospice patients: not being a burden to family ( p < .001), time with family and friends ( p = .002), being at peace with God ( p < .001), dying at home ( p = .004), feeling that life was meaningful ( p < .001), living as long as possible ( p < .001), and resolving conflicts ( p < .001). Third-year students were less successful than first-year students in perceiving patient care goals of hospice patients. No significant differences in medical student empathy were found based on student year.
Conclusions: Medical students, while empathetic, were generally unsuccessful in perceiving end-of-life care goals of hospice patients in the psychosocial and spiritual domains. Differences impeding the ability of medical students to understand these care goals may be generationally based. Increased age awareness and sensitivity may improve future end-of-life care discussions. Overall, there is a need to recognize the greater dimensionality of the dying in order to provide the most complete patient-centered care.
Background: Voluntary active euthanasia represents one of the key topics in the contemporary world medicine, law, religious, ethical and moral issues. Serbia considers legalization of this procedure. Between the others, it is important to examine the student’s attitudes regarding this issue.
Methods: Data were obtained from the faculties of law and medicine, from the universities of Kragujevac and Niš, Serbia. Data were collected during the second half of 2017. The research included 214 students. Due to the nature, subject and hypothesis of the research, the authors used descriptive method and the method of the theoretical content analysis.
Results: Generally, 54% of the students are in favor of legalization of the voluntary active euthanasia. 62, 4% would take part in the referendum on the legalization euthanasia.
Conclusion: The results obtained in the survey on euthanasia on a sample of law and medical students in Niš and Kragujevac indicate that choice of the faculty (law or medicine) influences the structure (share) of responses to particular questions to some extent. However, this influence does not provide ground for conclusion that students’ opinion on legalization and application of euthanasia depends on fact they study law or medicine.
This study aimed to identify the relationships of perception of hospice and palliative care with emotional intelligence and cognitive empathy in nursing students. The participants were 458 nursing students. Data were collected using structured questionnaires and analyzed with Pearson correlation coefficients, independent-samples t test, and binary logistic regression. Perception of hospice and palliative care was significantly and positively correlated with emotional intelligence (r = 0.224, P < .001) and cognitive empathy (r = 0.311, P < .001). Mean score differences of perception of hospice and palliative care by emotional intelligence and cognitive empathy were statistically significant (t = -3.973, P < .001; t = -4.109, P < .001, respectively). Logistic regression yielded an odds ratio of 1.860 (P < .001; 95% confidence interval, 1.283-2.698) between the perception of hospice and palliative care and emotional intelligence and an odds ratio of 2.028 (P < .001; 95% confidence interval, 1.394–2.951) between the perception of hospice and palliative care and cognitive empathy. Emotional intelligence and cognitive empathy should be cultivated to raise nursing students' perception of hospice and palliative care and must be included when developing related curricula and extracurricular programs.
Nurses spend more time with seriously and terminally ill patients across the continuum of care than other health professionals, yet nursing students lack adequate palliative care education and experience when they transition to practice. In response to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing CARES competencies for enhanced preparation in palliative care, the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium developed modules for undergraduate programs. Nursing students' life experiences and their prior involvement with death and dying situations shape their potential achievement of end-of-life learning outcomes. The purpose of this study was to explore traditional and nontraditional students' perspectives and outcomes of their lived experiences in response to the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium modules and current palliative care program curriculum. Following university institutional review board approval, the phenomenological qualitative study included 2 focus groups of traditional and transfer students. Thematic data analysis revealed 4 primary themes with differences noted between groups in response to these themes: (1) witnessing suffering and death, (2) building courage and competence, (3) conversation challenges, and (4) curriculum issues and recommendations. Implications for future palliative care education indicate opportunities to better support students through expanded simulations and debriefing sessions, integrated roles for clinical faculty and preceptors, and interdisciplinary team collaboration opportunities across settings.
It is an international consensus that health care workers should be well trained to promote care for seriously ill and dying patients. Nursing students have reported that they feel inadequately prepared for palliative care. Simulation exercises have been described as increasing knowledge, skills, and competence, and participants have reported that they are more confident and prepared for palliative care with this learning approach than without. So far, there has not been much reported on how simulation contributes to learning in clinical practice. Therefore, this study explored whether learning outcomes from palliative care simulation further developed in practice. Second-year bachelor's-prepared nursing students voluntarily participated in a simulation activity as part of their hospital practice. Eleven students were interviewed about their learning experiences. The findings indicate that a prerequisite for further learning was to actively choose palliative care. Relationships with nurses, patients, and relatives and factors in themselves served as gatekeepers for attending learning situations. Becoming a nurse who can provide palliative care was described as an emotionally challenging experience. Elements that promoted learning outcomes in palliative care were simulation experience, clarified expectations, support, and a good dialog with the nurse before and after the learning situation.
INTRODUCTION: It is widely recognized that physicians of all backgrounds benefit from having a general palliative care skillset to optimally manage their patients at the end of life. However, strategies to teach palliative care skills to trainees outside of palliative medicine vary widely. In this report, we provide an evidence-based, cross-disciplinary palliative care framework applicable to a spectrum of specialty training environments and intended for non-palliative care trainees.
INNOVATION: We developed and implemented a concise, multi-modal and evidence-based pilot palliative care curriculum focused on essential general palliative care skills required by physicians providing patient care along the continuum of life across specializations. A needs assessment (local research, literature review and consensus expert opinion) in combination with learner characteristics (Kolb learning style inventory, Palliative Medicine Comfort and Confidence Survey and knowledge pre-test) informed the development of a curricular outline. The first iteration of the curriculum was formulated and delivered. Extensive evaluation, reassessment and feedback led to a second iteration, which is presented here.
OUTCOMES: Although the context will differ according to specialization, there are essential palliative care skills required of most specialist physicians. General palliative themes identified for focus include symptom management, communication, psychosocial aspects of care, care coordination and access, and myths and pitfalls in palliative care.
COMMENT: Specialty trainees' value embedded training in essential themes in palliative care within the context of their training program. The process and results of this project, including the provision of a framework, may be applied to postgraduate training programs in various specialties.
Unclear communication of inauspicious prognoses may disorientate both patients and their relatives, drastically jeopardizing the planning of palliative care. This paper considers the issue of truth-telling in the communicative problems of nurses and students of nursing with terminally ill patients. The fundamental objective is the analysis of the difficulties related to the lack of truth-telling and how it might impact their professional and personal lives. A qualitative study was realized, involving 47 participants, both nurses (25) and nursing students (22), working in palliative care units or in associations of volunteers for the assistance of oncological patients. The exploration was focused on the way they relate to patients who are not aware of their real health conditions and their consequences. Particular attention was paid to their opinions concerning what could be done in order to manage such problematic situations in the near future.
Background: Experts recommend integrating palliative care throughout the four-year medical school curriculum, including in required clerkships such as internal medicine (IM).
Objective: The aim of this study was to determine whether third-year medical students could gain meaningful experience in primary palliative care during their IM clerkship with observation and feedback from internists and/or IM residents or fellows.
Design: We implemented two clinical exercises: (1) perform advance care planning with a patient and (2) participate in the delivery of important news. Students self-reported aspects of their experience in a confidential online survey.
Setting/Subjects: Third-year medical students enrolled in a required IM clerkship.
Measurements: Students reported the setting in which they completed the exercises, their level of independence, and their level of comfort with advance care planning after completing the exercise. We performed a qualitative analysis of open-ended comments to determine domains, themes, and subthemes and a separate analysis to determine the extent to which the comments suggested learning relevant to the stated learning objectives for each exercise.
Results: The majority of students completed both exercises without palliative care specialists present, 76% (196/258) for the advance care planning exercise and 75% (195/259) for important news. Fifty-one percent (132/258) of students completed advance care planning with a significant level of independence, and 70% (182/258) reported being comfortable or very comfortable with advance care planning after completing the exercise. Qualitative analyses of student comments found that the majority of students described learning something related to the stated learning objectives for each exercise and suggested that they gained an appreciation of the complexity of patient-provider interactions around serious illness and palliative care.
Conclusion: We found it feasible to integrate clinical exercises in advance care planning and delivering important news into an IM clerkship.
Accompanied suicide is a controversial topic with varying practice across Europe; therefore, there is very little guidance on how healthcare professionals should be educated on accompanied suicide. This study implemented an anonymous, cross-sectional online survey to discover the perceptions of final-year MPharm students on accompanied suicide and the factors affecting one’s views, with the aim of investigating the knowledge, awareness and opinions of pharmacy students regarding accompanied suicide, as well as education to pharmacy students. Surveys were disseminated to final-year pharmacy students at Kingston University between January and March 2019. The survey comprised of three sections: Section A consisting of definitions – to determine knowledge of pharmacy students. Section B including case studies – to understand the opinions of pharmacy students and identify influential patient factors. Section C involving demographics – to discover the influential participant factors. An ethics application was submitted and approved prior to conducting this study. The data yielded a total of 111 responses out of a possible 139 (80% response rate); 77.5% participants were unable to correctly define each term given, with many also agreeing their lack of knowledge affected their views. Overall, most pharmacy students disagreed with accompanied suicide, regardless of the patient factors. Additionally, religious participants were more likely to disagree with the patient request (p < 0.03). Three recommendations were concluded to improve the education of pharmacy students: (1) an approved medical organisation to specifically define terminology, (2) include accompanied suicide in the pharmacy syllabus and (3) include lesser known terminal illnesses on the pharmacy syllabus.
PURPOSE: To evaluate the perception of attending physicians, medical residents, and undergraduate medical students about death and dying, the end of life (EoL), and palliative care (PC) during training and clinical practice, highlighting knowledge gaps, and the changes needed in medical school curricula.
METHOD: Cross-sectional study of 12 attending physicians, residents, and undergraduate medical students randomly selected from a single teaching hospital in São Paulo, Brazil, 2018. Semi-structured interviews were conducted, transcripts were coded in depth, and categorizing analysis was carried out.
RESULTS: Three topical categories were recognized: Negative feelings about death and the EoL, importance of PC, and gaps in curricular structure hindering preparedness for PC and EoL communication. Besides differing perspectives depending on their years of experience, all participants strongly endorsed that the current medical school curriculum does not train and support physicians to handle EoL and PC.
CONCLUSIONS: Medical education plays a fundamental role in the development of knowledge and skills on death, dying, and PC. Such practices should extend throughout the course and be continuously improved after graduates move to clinical practice.
Introduction: Pediatric residents are faced with ethical dilemmas in beginning- and end-of-life situations throughout their training. These situations are innately challenging, yet despite recommendations that residents receive training in ethics and end-of-life domains, they continue to report the need for additional training. To address these concerns, we developed an interactive and reflective palliative care and medical ethics curriculum including sessions focusing on ethical dilemmas at the beginning and end of life.
Methods: This module includes a trio of case-based, small-group discussions on artificial nutrition and hydration, futility, and ethical considerations in neonatology. Content was developed based on a needs assessment, input from local experts, and previously published material. Trainees completed assessments of comfort and understanding before and after each session.
Results: The module was attended and assessed by an average of 27 trainees per session, including residents and medical students. Knowledge of ethical considerations improved after individual sessions, with 86% of trainees reporting understanding ethical considerations involved in the decision to withdraw or withhold medically provided nutrition and hydration and 67% of trainees reporting understanding the use of the term futility. Trainee comfort in providing counseling or recommendations regarding specific ethical issues demonstrated a trend toward improvement but did not reach statistical significance.
Discussion: We successfully implemented this innovative module, which increased trainees' comfort with end-of-life care and ethical conflicts. Future studies should focus on the trainees' ability to implement these skills in clinical practice.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this review was to explore the experiences of nursing students participating in end-of-life education programs.
DESIGN: A systematic review.
DATA SOURCES: Exhaustive literature searches were performed using seven electronic databases: Medline, Scopus, Web of Science, CINAHL Plus, Dialnet Plus, Eric and Cuiden Plus.
REVIEW METHODS: In total, 6572 studies published from 2008 until 2018 were examined. The Critical Appraisal Skills Program was used to assess the quality of the studies included in the review. The findings were synthesized using meta-aggregation.
RESULTS: Seventeen studies were included in this systematic review, representing a sample of 606 nursing students. Simulation methods were most common among the educational programs analyzed. The analysis of qualitative data allowed us to identify 260 illustrations which were grouped into 14 categories and three themes: feelings and emotions during the performance of the pedagogical activity, end-of-life education among nursing students and competencies acquired on death and end-of-life. The most highlighted communication skills were learning to listen and building confidence to speak with the patient, family and the general public.
CONCLUSIONS: End-of-life programs generally helped students acquire communication skills, learn concepts and improve the administration of this type of care. In addition, they perceived the experience as an opportunity to learn more about oneself, gain trust and support critical thinking. Nonetheless, the evidence available in this field is limited due to the small number of studies, plus the limited data reported. Thus, further studies on this subject are necessary.
Engaging patients in EOL discussions has many potential benefits, primarily alleviating unanswered questions, which results in increased patient and family satisfaction. All healthcare providers should be prepared to engage in EOL discussions with patients in declining health. In this article, I share an experience that shaped my views on this subject and discuss the importance of completing an advance directive before a health crisis occurs.
Objectives: To map current practice regarding discussions around resuscitation across England and Scotland in patients with cancer admitted acutely to hospital and to demonstrate the value of medical students in rapidly collecting national audit data.
Methods: Collaborators from the Macmillan medical student network collected data from 251 patient encounters across eight hospitals in England and Scotland. Data were collected to identify whether discussion regarding resuscitation was documented as having taken place during inpatient admission to acute oncology. As an audit standard, it was expected that all patients should be invited to discuss resuscitation within 24 hr of admission.
Results: Resuscitation discussions were had in 43.1% of admissions and of these 64.0% were within 24 hr; 27.6% of all admissions. 6.5% of patients had a “do not attempt resuscitation” order prior to admission with a difference noted between patients receiving palliative and curative treatment (8.5% and 0.39%, respectively, p < .05). Discussions regarding escalation of care took place in only 29.3% of admissions.
Conclusions: These data highlight deficiencies in the number of discussions regarding resuscitation that are being conducted with cancer patients that become acutely unwell. It also demonstrates the value of medical student collaboration in rapidly collecting national audit data.
As nearly all doctors deal with patients requiring palliative care, it is imperative that palliative care education starts early. This study aimed to validate a national, palliative care competency framework for undergraduate medical curricula. We conducted a Delphi study with five groups of stakeholders (palliative care experts, physicians, nurses, curriculum coordinators, and junior doctors), inviting them to rate a competency list. The list was organized around six key competencies. For each competency, participants indicated the level to which students should have mastered the skill at the end of undergraduate training. Stability was reached after two rating rounds (N = 82 round 1, N = 54 round 2). The results showed high levels of agreement within and between stakeholder groups. Participants agreed that theoretical knowledge is not enough: Students must practice palliative care competencies, albeit to varying degrees. Overall, communication and personal development and well-being scored the highest: Junior doctors should be able to perform these in the workplace under close supervision. Advance care planning scored the lowest, indicating performance in a simulated setting. A wide range of stakeholders validated a palliative care competency framework for undergraduate medical curricula. This framework can be used to guide teaching about palliative care.
Caring for dying patients is often a new experience for ICU residents. End-of-life and palliative training in medical schools is lacking. Many residents experience troublesome emotions during residency. Literature establishes that residents show lower well-being scores than similar populations. To make emotional wellness a priority for residents, monthly mandatory Palliative Care Rounds (PCR) were established in the ICU. The role of the Palliative Care Social Worker (PCSW) is central in planning and implementing PCR. Social workers have unique skills well-suited to this type of activity in an acute care setting. Residents present cases and the PCSW facilitates discussion to explore complex emotions helping residents process their feelings. Forty-five residents responded to a seven-item questionnaire, out of 70 potential resident respondents (64% response rate). Only 60% said they learned about end-of-life and its emotional aspects in medical school. Ninety-eight percent reported the PCR helped them be more aware of their feelings, and would recommend it to colleagues. Ninety-five percent said PCR are important for interns and residents to help them grow professionally and become better clinicians. Through the process of dissecting their emotions, PCR allows for personal and professional growth that improves residents’ ability to become empathic providers.
Interprofessional education allows students to collaborate with students and professionals of multiple disciplines. An Interdisciplinary Palliative Care (IPC) Seminar, held in the Midwest, involves students from disciplines of medicine, nursing, pharmacy, social work, and chaplaincy. The curriculum of the seminar incorporates asynchronous and synchronous didactic presentations, experiential learning through group exercises and discussion, along with home visits by students in interdisciplinary dyads. The purpose of this study was to determine whether students’ participation in a 3-week IPC seminar would positively influence their socialization and value of interprofessional collaboration with the ultimate goal of developing skilled professionals who engage in interprofessional practice in hospice and palliative care settings. This descriptive study invited participants to take a pre- and postseminar online survey using the Interprofessional Socialization and Valuing Scale-21 (ISVS-21) to assess shifts in students’ perceptions of interprofessional socialization and the value of collaborative health-care practice. In their pre-and postseminar scores, 71 participants reported they more strongly agreed with all items on the ISVS-21 after completing the seminar. The results from this study suggest the IPC Seminar is an effective educational model for advancing the value of interprofessional socialization and collaborative practice in hospice and palliative health-care.