Background: Widespread community engagement in advance care planning (ACP) is needed to overcome barriers to ACP implementation.
Objective: Develop, implement, and evaluate a model for community-based ACP in rural populations with low English language fluency and health care access using lay patient navigators.
Design: A statewide initiative to improve ACP setting/subjects—trained in a group session approach, bilingual patient navigators facilitated 1-hour English and Spanish ACP sessions discussing concerns about choosing a surrogate decision maker and completing an advance directive (AD). Participants received bilingual informational materials, including Frequently Asked Questions, an AD in English or Spanish, and Goal Setting worksheet.
Measurement: Participants completed a program evaluation and 4-item ACP Engagement Survey (ACP-4) postsession.
Results: For 18 months, 74 ACP sessions engaged 1034 participants in urban, rural, and frontier areas of the state; 39% were ethnically diverse, 69% female. A nurse or physician co-facilitated 49% of sessions. Forty-seven percent of participants completed an ACP-4 with 29% planning to name a decision maker in the next 6 months and 21% in the next 30 days; 31% were ready to complete an AD in the next 6 months and 22% in the next 30 days. Evaluations showed 98% were satisfied with sessions. Thematic analysis of interviews with facilitators highlighted barriers to delivering an ACP community-based initiative, strategies used to build community buy-in and engagement, and ways success was measured.
Conclusion: Patient navigators effectively engaged underserved and ethnically diverse rural populations in community-based settings. This model can be adapted to improve ACP in other underserved populations.
An increasing number of palliative care educational programs strive to meet the workforce need for palliative care clinicians. This growth necessitates development of robust quality standards. The purpose of this Delphi consensus process was to describe high-quality postlicensure interprofessional palliative care education programs. The steering committee, composed of 6 faculty with experience implementing interprofessional palliative care educational programs, developed initial characteristics, definitions, and subcategories, which were refined through a series of 3 iterative Delphi surveys and a public presentation at a national palliative care meeting. More than 50 palliative care clinicians and educators representing multiple professions were invited to participate in the Delphi surveys; 20 completed round 1, 23 completed round 2, and 15 participants completed round 3. The final consensus included 6 characteristics with definitions, and both required and recommended subcategories for each characteristic. Identified characteristics include competencies, content, educational strategies, interprofessional focus, evaluation, and systems integration. This initial description of quality for postlicensure interprofessional palliative care education programs may be used by learners to guide program selection, new or existing program faculty for course development or quality improvement, or professional organizations to evaluate program quality in a program certification or quality award initiative.