Although there is an increased need for delivery of bereavement care, many health care providers in acute care hospital settings feel inadequately prepared to deliver quality grief support, have lack of time, and have inexperience in provision of bereavement care. As a result, although families would like health care providers to offer bereavement support, they are inadequately trained and susceptible to burnout, resulting in families not having their needs met. The purpose of this qualitative study was to uncover the social process occurring in a bereavement education workshop titled "How to Care, What to Say" offered to health care providers. The goal of the workshop was to improve delivery of care for the dying and their family by providing holistic care to the family before, during, and after the death of a loved one. Past grief workshop participants who cared for the bereaved were interviewed, and data were analyzed and synthesized using constructivist grounded theory. Individual interviews and focus group data revealed participants' perceptions, learnings, and potential integration of the workshop into practice. The overarching theory of providing bereavement care that emerged from the data is "a relational process of understanding knowledge, self-awareness, moral responsibilities, and advancing grief competencies of providing holistic grief support."
PURPOSE: Patients with advanced cancer often have a poor understanding of cancer incurability, which correlates with more aggressive treatment near the end of life (EOL). We sought to determine whether training oncologists to elicit patient values for goals-of-care (GoC) discussions will increase and improve these discussions. We explored its impact on use of aggressive care at EOL.
METHODS: We enrolled and used block randomization to assign 92% of solid tumor oncologists to 2-hour communication skills training and four coaching sessions. We surveyed 265 patient with newly diagnosed advanced cancer with < 2-year life expectancy at baseline and 6 months. We assessed prevalence and quality of GoC communication, change in communication skills, and use of aggressive care in the last month of life.
RESULTS: Intervention (INT) oncologists' (n = 11) skill to elicit patient values increased (27%-55%), while usual care (UC) oncologists' (n = 11) skill did not (9%-0%; P = .01). Forty-eight percent (n = 74) INT v 51% (n = 56) UC patients reported a GoC discussion (P = .61). There was no difference in the prevalence or quality of GoC communication between groups (global odds ratio, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.57 to 1.23). Within 6 months, there was no difference in deaths (18 INT v 16 UC; P = .51), mean hospitalizations (0.47 INT v 0.42 UC; P = .63), intensive care unit admissions (5% INT v 9% UC; P = .65), or chemotherapy (26% INT v 16% UC; P = .39).
CONCLUSION: Use of a coaching model focused on teaching oncologists to elicit patient values improved that skill but did not increase prevalence or quality of GoC discussions among patients with advanced cancer. There was no impact on high care utilization at EOL.
Background: Nurses are involved in providing end-of-life care for end stage individuals and their self-efficacy is one of the key factors bearing on such care. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of palliative care on perceived self-efficacy of the nurses.
Methods: this is a quasi-experimental study with pretest-posttest design. Sampling was randomized and included 40 individuals. The intervention consisted of palliative care training for four sessions, each lasting 45 min. Data were collected using demographic and perceived self-efficacy questionnaires completed before and after the intervention. Data were then analyzed by SPSS 16 software using descriptive and inferential statistics.
Results: The mean age of the participants was 38.6 and their work experience was 14.25 years. The majority of the participants were female (85%) and had a bachelor level of education (92.5%). The findings showed that “perceived self-efficacy”, “psychosocial support” and “symptom management” improved significantly after intervention (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: Based on the results, palliative care education has the potential to increase nurses’ perceived self-efficacy. Since all members of the health care team Including nurses play an important role in providing palliative care, nursing managers can take an effective step to maximize the capacity of nurses by planning and supporting training in this regard.
Evidence of quality of life improvements in patients with advanced-stage cancer has spurred a move towards early integration of palliative care into the outpatient setting. As discussed herein, meaningful and sustained improvements in timely access to palliative care requires commitments to funding, encouraging integration and routinizing referral across care settings. More palliative medicine training positions as well as broader education of clinicians and the public about the benefits of palliative care throughout the disease course are also needed.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has brought a tsunami of suffering that is devastating even well resourced countries. The disease has wreaked havoc on health systems and generated immense losses for families, communities, and economies, in addition to the growing death toll. Patients, caregivers, health-care providers, and health systems can benefit from the extensive knowledge of the palliative care community and by taking heed of long-standing admonitions to improve access to essential medicines, particularly opioids for the relief of breathlessness and pain.
Background: Providing end of life care (EoLC) is an important aspect of primary care, which reduces the risk of hospital admission for most patients. However, general practitioners (GPs) seem to have low confidence in their ability to provide EoLC. Little is known about an adequate volume and kind of training in EoLC among GP trainees.
Methods: We performed a before-after comparison in all post-graduate GP trainees who were registered in the vocational training program (KWBW VerbundweiterbildungPLUS). They were offered participation within a two-day seminar focussing on palliative care in 2017. Those who attended the seminar (intervention group I) completed a paper-based questionnaire directly before the intervention (T1) and 6 months after (T2). None-attendees (group C) were also asked to fill out the questionnaire once. The questionnaire covered previous experiences in palliative care, self-assessment of competencies in EoLC in the organisation of patient care as well as in control of symptoms, attitudes towards death and caring for dying patients and questions about GPs’ role in EoLC.
Results: In total, 294 GP trainees (I: n = 219; C: n = 75) participated in the study. Of those, more than 90% had previously gained experience in EoLC mainly during vocational training in the hospital rotation. Around a third had previously gained competencies in EoLC in medical school. Between groups I (T1) and C no significant differences were observed in socio-demographic characteristics, pre-existing experience or overall expertise. At T2, 75% of participants of group I declared they have extended their competencies in EoLC after the intervention and 70% classified the intervention as helpful or very helpful. Overall, they rated their competencies significantly higher than at T1 (p < 0.01). In detail, competencies in organisation of EoLC and competencies in handling of symptoms significantly improved (p < 0.01). Due to the intervention, 66% could reflect their attitudes towards dying, death and grief and 18% changed their attitudes. Group I highlighted palliative care as one of GPs tasks (Likert 4.47/5, SD 0.75).
Conclusions: The intervention fostered personal competencies, understanding and self-confidence in EoLC among GP trainees. This is crucial for the aim to broadly provide EoLC.
Background: The population of older adults with chronic kidney disease (CKD) is increasing and nephrologists need education on the principles of geriatrics and palliative care to effectively care for this population.
Objectives: Our objective was to develop and deliver a curriculum to interprofessional clinicians caring for older adults with CKD. The aim of this curriculum would be to improve knowledge of the principles of geriatrics and palliative care.
Design: We have previously developed a curriculum on geriatrics and palliative care targeted toward primary care teams. In this project, we used an interdisciplinary steering committee to modify the curriculum for nephrology teams.
Setting: This curriculum was delivered in a live grand rounds setting and was recorded and made available via online platform for virtual learning.
Participants: The 6-session curriculum was delivered to 611 live and online learners between January 2018 and April 2019, with more than half of the participants (n = 317) completing more than 1 session. Participants came from a variety of disciplines including medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and social work.
Results: Participants had a high rate of agreement with the statement that the curriculum met learning objectives, with live participants having stronger agreement. Participants reported that the activity would change their practice behavior by calling palliative care earlier, as well as improving their communication skills.
Conclusion: Interprofessional collaboration can result in improved learning around the management of patients with CKD or end-stage kidney disease.
Context: The disparity between gaps in workforce and availability of palliative care (PC) services is an increasing issue in health care. To meet the demand, team-based PC requires additional educational training for all clinicians caring for persons with serious illness.
Objectives: To describe the educational methodology and evaluation of an existing regional interdisciplinary PC training program that was expanded to include chaplain and social worker trainees.
Methods: From 2015 to 2017, 26 social workers, chaplains, physicians, nurses, and advanced practice providers representing 22 health systems completed a two-year training program. The curriculum comprises biannual interdisciplinary conferences, individualized mentoring and clinical shadowing, self-directed e-learning, and profession-focused seminar series for social workers and chaplains. Site-specific practice improvement projects were developed to address gaps in PC at participating sites.
Results: PC and program development skills were self-assessed before and after training. Among 12 skills common to all disciplines, trainees reported significant increases in confidence across all 12 skills and significant increases in frequency of performing 11 of 12 skills. Qualitative evaluation identified a myriad of program strengths and challenges regarding the educational format, mentoring, and networking across disciplines.
Conclusion: Teaching PC and program development knowledge and skills to an interdisciplinary regional cohort of practicing clinicians yielded improvements in clinical skills, implementation of practice change projects, and a sense of belonging to a supportive professional network.
A growing body of research has examined modalities for delivering palliative care education; however, we know little about education and training preferences of VA interdisciplinary Palliative Care Consult Teams (PCCT). In the BEACON II study, we explored training preferences of PCCTs from 46 Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs) participating in either a multisite webinar or a small group, in-person workshop. We interviewed participants by telephone seven to eight month post-training. In all, 75.9% preferred in-person education and training, including 78.9% of workshop participants and 73.1% of webinar participants. Respondents described in-person training as fostering learning through the following processes: (1) active engagement and focus, (2) interaction and networking, (3) meaning-making and relevance, and (4) reciprocity and commitment. Although it is not possible for Web-based palliative care education programs to replicate all aspects of the in-person learning experience, building experiential, interactive, meaningful, and reciprocal components into Web-based education may help shift preferences and make interdisciplinary team-based palliative care education accessible to a larger audience.
Caring for the dying patient can be stressful for nursing students. The purpose of this study was to describe a multimodal educational intervention designed to improve nursing students' attitude toward care of the dying patient and the family. Sophomore nursing students participated in an interactive end-of-life (EOL) lecture and simulation. A quasi-experimental, pretest/posttest design with a convenience sample was used for this study. Frommelt Attitudes Toward Care of the Dying version A was used to measure attitudes toward care of the dying patient before and after educational intervention. In addition, students were given an open-ended questionnaire to reflect on their perceptions of the EOL experience and a demographic questionnaire. A paired t test revealed a statistically significant difference between the pretest and posttest (t50 = 3.1, P = .003) on the Frommelt Attitudes Toward Care of the Dying, suggesting that students gained a more positive attitude toward caring for the dying patient. Three themes emerged from the content analysis and included knowing what to say and how to offer presence, becoming emotionally prepared, and learning skills to comfort. The use of lecture and simulation allowed students to assimilate the knowledge and affective skills needed to provide quality EOL care.
BACKGROUND: Insufficient knowledge of radiotherapy among hospice and palliative medicine (HPM) physicians is a barrier to providing optimal palliative care. We sought to assess the impact of a palliative radiotherapy curriculum on the knowledge, attitudes, and practice behaviors of HPM fellows at a single institution.
METHODS: We implemented a palliative radiotherapy didactic course for HPM fellows. The course consisted of three one-hour lectures and a guided tour of the radiation oncology suite. Anonymous pre-post was performed using descriptive statistics with P values calculated using the Wilcoxon rank-sum test with continuity correction.
RESULTS: All eligible fellows completed the questionnaires. Prior to the course, all fellows agreed that possessing a working knowledge of palliative radiotherapy was important yet lacked confidence in this domain. Fellow-reported confidence increased significantly on post-course assessment, as did the mean score on objective knowledge assessment. This increased knowledge was retained on longitudinal evaluation at three months. The curricular intervention also impacted fellow-reported practice behaviors and attitudes. In the three months following the intervention, fellows were more likely to refer patients for palliative radiotherapy, more likely to collaborate with radiation oncologists, and more likely to view radiation oncologists as members of a comprehensive palliative care team.
CONCLUSIONS: This feasibility study suggests that a brief curricular intervention can impact HPM fellows' knowledge about, attitudes towards, and practice behaviors associated with the use of radiotherapy in the palliative management of advanced cancer patients.
AIMS: To evaluate how a structured interactive two-day education programme for clinical nurses on end-of-life (EOL) care for older people affects nurses' attitudes and knowledge.
DESIGN: Non-randomised controlled trial.
METHODS: Nurses were recruited separately for intervention and control groups. The intervention group assisted older patients with EOL care and recruited patients for the programme. To prevent sampling bias, control group nurses were recruited from a facility with numerous EOL care opportunities. The intervention was a two-day educational programme. Using valid and reliable scales, we evaluated the attitudes (total score range: 26-130) and knowledge (total score range: 0-51) of the intervention group four times (pretraining, post-training, 3 months, 6 months) and the control group three times (baseline, 3 months, 6 months) between January 2016 and April 2017. Analysis of covariance examined both groups' score changes at 3 and 6 months while adjusting for confounding factors.
RESULTS: Participants were 338 nurses caring primarily for older people (intervention group: 164; control group: 174); 142 responded at all measurement points. The change in mean value of the attitude scale from baseline to 3 months (differences in the groups' attitude scores = 7.33; 95% CI = 2.43-12.24; p = .004) and 6 months (differences in groups' attitude scores = 5.77; 95% CI = 0.17-11.37; p = .044) was greater in the intervention group. Moreover, the mean knowledge scale score change from baseline to 3 months was greater in the intervention group (differences in groups' knowledge scores = 5.74; 95% CI = 4.07 to 7.39; p < .001). There was no evidence of a change in this score between baseline and 6 months.
CONCLUSION: The programme improved nurses' medium- to long-term attitudes and knowledge. Thus, it may help nurses enhance the quality of care they provide.
IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: A two-day educational program improves nurses' medium- to long-term attitudes and knowledge on end-oflife care. For quality end-of-life care for older people, a structured and evidence-based educational program should be provided to nursing staff.
BACKGROUND: The aging of populations is rapidly accelerating worldwide. Especially, Japan has maintained the highest rate of population aging worldwide. As countermeasures, the Japanese government prioritized the promotion of local comprehensive care systems and collaboration in medical care and social (long-term) care. Development of a system to connect medical and social services in the community is necessary for the increasing older people, especially for the people in the stage of end of life.
OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to assess the effect of a multidisciplinary end-of-life educational intervention program on confidence in inter-professional collaboration and job satisfaction among health and social care professionals.
DESIGN: a cluster-randomized controlled trial.
SETTING/PARTICIPANTS: Three professional groups (home care nurses, care managers, and heads of care workers) in an urban area participated in this trial.
INTERVENTION: We implemented a multidisciplinary end-of-life educational intervention program comprising two educational workshops and an educational booklet to support multidisciplinary care for end-of-life patients during the 7-month study period.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Confidence in improved interactions among professionals and job satisfaction were assessed with the Face-to-Face Cooperative Confidence Questionnaire and the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire at T1 (before intervention) and T2 (7 months after the intervention).
RESULTS: In total, 291 professionals participated in this study (experimental group n = 156; control group n = 135). Multivariate regression analyses showed significant between-group increases on all of seven subscales in participants' face-to-face cooperative confidence over the study period; no effect was evident regarding job satisfaction.
CONCLUSIONS: A multidisciplinary end-of-life educational intervention program increased confidence in multidisciplinary collaboration among health and social care professionals.
AIM: To describe Israel's development of the palliative care advanced practice registered nurse as a foundation for the development of the advanced practice registered nurse role in other specialties.
BACKGROUND: Palliative care centres on alleviating physical, emotional, social and spiritual distress associated with life-limiting illness. In 2009, Israel introduced the palliative care advanced practice nurse role, that is, registered nurses with specialized training in palliative care, to address increasing palliative care needs.
INTRODUCTION: While there has been investment in its development, full implementation of the advanced practice nurse has not yet been achieved.
METHODS: In this qualitative descriptive study, we conducted a document analysis (n = 11) and key informant interviews (n = 11), extracted themes using qualitative content analysis and triangulated data sets.
RESULTS: Documents reflected growing palliative care needs and uniform requirements for advanced practice nurse training. Interviews uncovered a perceived lack of awareness of palliative care, the need for increased role definition and practice authority for advanced practice nurses, and barriers to entry and training for this role.
DISCUSSION: Findings highlight ongoing needs in palliative care and advanced practice nursing and a trajectory of growth.
CONCLUSIONS: The challenges Israel faces in implementation of the palliative care advanced practice nurse role inform development of other advanced practice nursing roles in Israel and other countries.
IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING PRACTICE: Streamlining training pathways and resolving scope of practice issues will assist in implementation of advanced practice nursing roles.
IMPLICATIONS FOR HEALTH POLICY: Our data offer targets for policymakers advocating the advanced practice nurse role, including training requirements and scope of practice.
OBJECTIVE: Patients' desire to die (DD) is rarely discussed in palliative care (PC) due to health professionals' (HPs) feeling of uncertainty. The aim of the study was to develop and evaluate a training to increase HPs' self-confidence in responding professionally to patient's DD and to assess the feasibility of this approach.
METHODS: The training course was developed via focus groups and relevant literature and refined with an advisory board. An evaluation design was developed to evaluate training outcomes and to examine feasibility. To assess self-confidence, knowledge, skills, and attitudes: (1) standardized surveys were applied at T1 (before training), T2 (directly after), and T3 (3 months later), and were analyzed by descriptive and non-parametric statistics; and (2) participants' open feedback was summarized by content.
RESULTS: A two-day multi-disciplinary training was developed to improve self-confidence via diverse teaching methods. Twenty-four HPs from general and specialized PC were participated. Via self-rating on Likert scales at three time points, improvements were seen at T1, T2, and partly remained at T3, especially in the overall item of self-confidence in communicating with patients about their DD (means: 4.3. at T1, 5.7 at T2, and 5.9 at T3; on a 7-point scale with 1 = lowest value and 7 = highest value). Fewer improvements were found in skills (using different approaches) and attitudes (feeling less helplessness). Open feedback revealed a high appreciation for the training, especially the composition of participants, the role-play, and the overall increase of awareness of the topic.
SIGNIFICANCE OF RESULTS: The developed training on addressing DD meets a need and was perceived by the participants to be of added value. Future research should measure training effects with a validated instrument, including more participants, diverse participant groups, and a control group. Effects on patients should be assessed.
The need to improve access to palliative care across multiple settings and disease groups has been identified. This requires equipping health care professionals from many different professions, including physicians and nurses, among others, with basic palliative care competencies to provide a palliative care approach. Pallium Canada's Curriculum Development Framework supports the development, deployment, and dissemination, on a large scale, of multiple courses targeting health care professionals across multiple settings of care and disease groups. The Framework is made up of eight phases: (1) Concept, (2) Decision, (3) Curriculum Planning, (4) Prototype Development, (5) Piloting, (6) Dissemination, (7) Language and Cultural Adaptation, and (8) Ongoing Maintenance and Updates. Several of these phases include iterative cyclical activities. The framework allows multiple courses to be developed simultaneously, staggered in a production line with each phase and their corresponding activities requiring different levels of resources and stakeholder engagement. The framework has allowed Pallium Canada to develop, launch, and maintain numerous versions of its Learning Essential Approaches to Palliative Care (LEAP) courses concurrently. It leverages existing LEAP courses and curriculum materials to produce new LEAP courses, allowing significant efficiencies and maximizing output. This article describes the framework and its various activities, which we believe could be very useful for other jurisdictions undertaking the work of developing education programs to spread the palliative care approach across multiple settings, specialties, and disease groups.
Background: Palliative systematic treatment offers uncertain and often limited benefits, and the burden can be high. Hence, treatment decisions require shared decision making (SDM). This trial examined the independent and combined effect of an oncologist training and a patient communication aid on SDM.
Methods: In this multicenter randomized controlled trial with four parallel arms (2016–2018), oncologists (n = 31) were randomized to receive SDM communication skills training or not. The training consisted of a reader, two group sessions, a booster session, and a consultation room tool (10 hours). Patients (n = 194) with advanced cancer were randomized to receive a patient communication aid or not. The aid consisted of education on SDM, a question prompt list, and a value clarification exercise. The primary outcome was observed SDM as rated by blinded observers from audio-recorded consultations. Secondary outcomes included patient-reported SDM, patient and oncologist satisfaction, patients’ decisional conflict, patient quality of life 3 months after consultation, consultation duration, and the decision made.
Results: The oncologist training had a large positive effect on observed SDM (Cohen's d = 1.12) and on patient-reported SDM (d = 0.73). The patient communication aid did not improve SDM. The combination of interventions did not add to the effect of training oncologists only. The interventions affected neither patient nor oncologist satisfaction with the consultation nor patients’ decisional conflict, quality of life, consultation duration, or the decision made.
Conclusion: Training medical oncologists in SDM about palliative systemic treatment improves both observed and patient-reported SDM. A patient communication aid does not. The incorporation of skills training in (continuing) educational programs for medical oncologists is likely to stimulate the widely advocated uptake of shared decision making in clinical practice. Trial registration. Netherlands Trial Registry NTR 5489.
Implications for Practice: Treatment for advanced cancer offers uncertain and often small benefits, and the burden can be high. Hence, treatment decisions require shared decision making (SDM). SDM is increasingly advocated for ethical reasons and for its beneficial effect on patient outcomes. Few initiatives to stimulate SDM are evaluated in robust designs. This randomized controlled trial shows that training medical oncologists improves both observed and patient-reported SDM in clinical encounters (n = 194). A preconsultation communication aid for patients did not add to the effect of training oncologists. SDM training effectively changes oncologists’ practice and should be implemented in (continuing) educational programs.
Objectives: To train and support oncology advanced practice RNs (APRNs) to become generalist providers of palliative care.
Sample & Setting: APRNs with master’s or doctor of nursing practice degrees and at least five years of experience in oncology (N = 165) attended a National Cancer Institute–funded national training course and participated in ongoing support and education.
Methods & Variables: Course participants completed a precourse, postcourse, and six-month follow-up evaluation regarding palliative care practices in their settings, course evaluation, and their perceived effectiveness in applying course content in their practice.
Results: The precourse results showed deficiencies in current practice, with a low percentage of patients having palliative care as part of their oncology care. Barriers included lack of triggers that could assist in identifying patients who could benefit from palliative care. Six-month postcourse data showed more APRNs participating in family meetings, recommending palliative care consultations, speaking with family members regarding bereavement services, and preparing clinical staff for impending patient deaths.
Implications for Nursing: APRNs require palliative care training to integrate this care within their role. APRNs can influence practice change and improve care for patients in their settings.
End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) is a life-limiting condition for which hospice and palliative care are not routinely provided to patients and families. While the ESRD mortality rate is close to 25%, patients on dialysis are half as likely to receive hospice services than patients with other life-limiting diagnoses. Nephrologists and dialysis social workers receive little training to effectively lead patients with ESRD and their families through the stages of dying and the completion of advance care planning. The lack of professional training, a need for greater commitment to advanced care planning from dialysis corporations, and reimbursement problems for hospice care, all contribute to low rates of hospice use within the ESRD population. An ESRD advance care training program for social workers is described that was developed as a part of a larger research project designed to increase advance care planning and referrals for hospice for those with ESRD. The goals were to help social workers become better advocates for patients and families, appreciate cultural, spiritual, racial and ethnic differences, and understand the ethical and legal issues in advance care planning. The challenges that emerged included high staff turnover and a paucity of corporate commitment to training.
Background: Goals of care (GOC) conversations are critical to advance care planning but occur infrequently in nephrology. National workshops have improved trainee comfort with initiating GOC conversations but lack interface with palliative subspecialists and can incur travel-related costs. We developed an educational intervention focused on GOC conversations for nephrology trainees that incorporated into routine schedules and offered feedback from palliative subspecialists.
Objective: To explore barriers and facilitators to discussing GOC and uncover perceptions of GOC-related behavior change post-intervention.
Design: Qualitative study.
Setting/Subjects: Sixteen nephrology trainees at an academic medical center.
Measurements: Analyses of semistructured interviews occurred in phases: (1) isolation of quotes; (2) development of a coding system; and (3) creation of a framework of interrelationships between quotes using an inductive/deductive approach.
Results: We captured the following themes: (1) prior knowledge (ability to define GOC, knowledge of communication frameworks and prognostic data, exposure to outpatient GOC conversations; (2) attitudes related to GOC conversations (responsibility, comfort, therapeutic alliance, patient preparedness, partnership with care teams); and (3) potential change in behaviors (increased likelihood to initiate GOC conversations early, more accurate identification of patients appropriate for a GOC conversation).
Conclusions: Prior knowledge of, exposure to, and attitudes toward advance care planning were key determinants of a nephrology trainees' ability to initiate timely GOC conversations. After our intervention, trainees reported increased comfort with and likelihood to initiate GOC conversations and an improved ability to identify appropriate candidates. Our intervention may be a novel, feasible way to coach nephrologists to initiate timely GOC conversations.