BACKGROUND: Advance care planning is a crucial end-of-life care practice. However, an advance care planning educational programme for practitioners in an acute care setting has not yet been established. Consequently, we examined the effects of an advance care planning educational programme in an acute hospital in the hope of achieving increased awareness of end-of-life care.
DESIGN: A mixed-methods, pre- and post-design was employed to evaluate the change in attitudes of practitioners post-programme. The intervention programme was conducted thrice over 3 months in 90-min sessions.
SETTING/PARTICIPANTS: This study included 85 participants in the baseline assessment working at B acute hospital in Osaka.
RESULTS: Participants' scores on the 'Positive attitude for end-of-life care' subscale on the short version of the Frommelt Attitude Toward Care of Dying scale significantly increased after the 6-month intervention. A 'Positive attitude for end-of-life-care' implies that participants would not be afraid to practice end-of-life care. Further, participants' scores on the 'Death relief' subscale of the Death Attitude Inventory also significantly increased. The term 'Death relief' means that death helps in ending suffering. It means participants are not afraid of death. Qualitative results implied that participants believed advance care planning implementation and communicating with patients and patients' families were critical.
CONCLUSIONS: Six months post-intervention, participants displayed sustained positive attitudes towards end-of-life care. These results suggest that the present programme was effective at improving practitioners' attitudes towards patients' end-of-life care.