BACKGROUND: Annually, across the world a substantial number of dependent children experience the death of a parent through life-limiting illness. Without support, this has long-term implications for children's emotional, social and physical well-being, impacting on health and social care services globally. Limited information exists on how service providers are meeting family needs when a parent with dependent children is dying.
AIM: To determine the bereavement support provided to families with dependent children by UK hospices before and after a parent's death.
DESIGN: A 23-item, cross-sectional, web-based survey of adult UK hospices. Closed and open-ended questions were asked about the features of support provided; open-ended response was sought to a question about the challenges faced by hospices in delivering support. Descriptive and non-parametric statistics and framework analysis were used to analyse the data.
RESULTS: 197 hospices were invited to participate. Response rate was 66% (130/197). More types of support were provided after, than before, parental death (mean 6.36/5.64, z=-5.767, p<0001). Twenty-two per cent of hospices reported no formal processes for asking or documenting the presence of dependent children. Volunteers were an underused resource before parental death. Four themes characterised challenges in delivering support for families: emotional difficulties for families; practical and social difficulties for families; funding/resources; and staff training/numbers.
CONCLUSIONS: Family needs are not consistently being met when a parent is dying. Areas for development include: enhanced systems to record when patients have dependent children; flexible approaches to support vulnerable families; staff training to help communication with families and management of their own fears of making the situation worse. Effective educational interventions and service developments to better support staff, parents and children are needed.
BACKGROUND: Education has been highlighted as fundamental in equipping healthcare professionals with essential knowledge and skills to provide good end-of-life care. Multiprofessional educational programmes have a positive influence on knowledge, attitude and confidence but few have sought to understand the longer term impact on care delivery. The European Certificate in Essential Palliative Care is an 8-week home-study-based programme for healthcare professionals and is currently run in nine centres. Successful candidates have undertaken the course from their own countries around the world. This article describes the evaluation of the European Certificate in Essential Palliative Care which has been evolving over 15 years.
AIMS: To evaluate the impact an educational intervention has on participants' confidence in palliative care, to determine whether this is sustained over time and explore participants' perception of the influence of the course on confidence.
DESIGN: A mixed-method longitudinal approach.
SETTING/PARTICIPANTS: A survey using a self-efficacy scale was emailed to 342 candidates who received an educational intervention and semi-structured interviews to a sub-sample of 15 candidates at baseline, 3 and 6 months.
RESULTS: At 3 months, candidates had almost 20 times higher odds of being above any given level of confidence than at baseline which was sustained at 6 months. Qualitative analysis identified examples of increased competence and confidence improving palliative care delivery.
CONCLUSION: Findings suggest that the European Certificate in Essential Palliative Care improves confidence in palliative care and that this is sustained over time with evidence of confidence in symptom control, communication and a holistic approach in clinical practice.
C'est essentiel que les unités de soins palliatifs jouent leur rôle dans la recherche en soins palliatifs. Mais comment développer cela ? Les auteurs décrivent la stratégie de recherche développée au Princess Alice Hospice situé dans le comté de Surrey en Angleterre.