Objective: To describe how breaking bad news (BBN) is currently taught in Canadian general paediatric residency programs and the confidence level of fourth year paediatric residents (Ped-PGY4) in BBN and managing end-of-life-care (EOLC).
Methods: A prospective, cross-sectional survey of General Paediatric Residency Program Directors (PDs) and Ped-PGY4s was conducted.
Results: When learning to BBN, residents state faculty observation (22/23) and interactive workshops (14/23) are the most helpful, while PDs state interactive workshops (9/16) and deliberate practice (5/16) are ideal. Residents identified a knowledge gap and discomfort with providing anticipatory guidance, and symptom management, including prescribing opioids.
Conclusions: In the era of competency-based medical education, there is an opportunity to create a standardized national curriculum addressing universal competencies related to BBN and EOLC.
BACKGROUND: Mentoring nurtures a mentee's personal and professional development. Yet conflation of mentoring approaches and a failure to contend with mentoring's nature makes it difficult to study mentoring processes and relationships. This study aims to understand of mentee experiences in the Palliative Medicine Initiative (PMI). The PMI uses a consistent mentoring approach amongst a homogeneous mentee population offers a unique opportunity to circumnavigate conflation of practices and the limitations posed by mentoring's nature. The data will advance understanding of mentoring processes.
METHODS: Sixteen mentees discussed their PMI experiences in individual face-to-face audio-recorded interviews. The two themes identified from thematic analysis of interview transcripts were the stages of mentoring and communication.
RESULTS: The 6 stages of mentoring are the 'pre-mentoring stage', 'initial research meetings', 'data gathering', 'review of initial findings, 'manuscript preparation" and 'reflections'. These subthemes sketch the progression of mentees from being dependent on the mentor for support and guidance, to an independent learner with capacity and willingness to mentor others. Each subtheme is described as stages in the mentoring process (mentoring stages) given their association with a specific phase of the research process. Mentoring processes also pivot on effective communication which are influenced by the mentor's characteristics and the nature of mentoring interactions.
CONCLUSION: Mentoring relationships evolve in stages to ensure particular competencies are met before mentees progress to the next part of their mentoring process. Progress is dependent upon effective communication and support from the mentor and appropriate and timely adaptations to the mentoring approach to meet the mentee's needs and goals. Adaptations to the mentoring structure are informed by effective and holistic evaluation of the mentoring process and the mentor's and mentee's abilities, goals and situations. These findings underline the need to review and redesign the way assessments of the mentoring process are constructed and how mentoring programs are structured.
INTRODUCTION: A structured and intentional approach to quality improvement is critical for clinicians specializing in palliative care and is a required component of training programs.
METHODS: We present a multimodal, comprehensive curriculum for teaching quality improvement to interdisciplinary trainees in palliative care.
RESULTS: The curriculum consists of 4 sessions, one and half hours long a piece, that focus on the purpose and practice of quality improvement and guide learners through a team-based project implementation experience. Course assessments demonstrate satisfaction with the course and improvement in targeted skills, knowledge, and attitudes.
DISCUSSION: Several key learnings stand out from our experience with this curriculum as central to the experience of students: project work completed as interdisciplinary teams, varying teaching methodologies over a longitudinal curriculum, and the opportunity for formal presentation of their work.
Latinos are less likely to have an advance care plan, use hospice or palliative care services, and have conversations about end of life than the general population. This article describes processes and outcomes of a Latino lay health advisor advance care planning training program in eastern North Carolina. An exploratory case study was used to understand the perspectives of Latino leaders. Two Latino leaders completed an advance care planning training in 2016. Data were generated from field notes, interviews, and observations. A description of the social and contextual conditions in the study setting facilitated data analysis. The primary finding, “planting the seeds,” was the strategy that began the conversation of advance care planning. “Planting the seeds” meant introducing the topic carefully to ensure the person is ready to listen, the information will be accepted, and capacity will be gained to make informed decisions. Training Latino lay health advisors in advance care planning has the potential to eliminate health disparities.
Objective Advance care planning (ACP) is widely advocated to contribute to better outcomes for patients suffering from heart failure. But clinicians appear hesitant to engage with ACP. Our aim was to identify interventions with the greatest potential to engage clinicians with ACP in heart failure.
Methods A systematic review and meta-analysis. We searched CINAHL, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Database of Systematic Reviews, Embase, ERIC, Ovid MEDLINE, Science Citation Index and PsycINFO for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) from inception to January 2018. Three reviewers independently extracted data, assessed risk of bias (Cochrane risk of bias tool), the quality of evidence (GRADE) and intervention synergy according to Template for Intervention Description and Replication. ORs were calculated for pooled effects.
Results Of 14 175 articles screened, we assessed the full text of 131 studies. 13 RCTs including 3709 participants met all of the inclusion criteria. The intervention categories of patient-mediated interventions (OR 5.23; 95% CI 2.36 to 11.61), reminder systems (OR 3.65; 95% CI 1.47 to 9.04) and educational meetings (OR 2.35; 95% CI 1.29 to 4.26) demonstrated a favourable effect to engage clinicians with the completion of ACP.
Conclusion The review provides evidence from 13 published RCTs and suggests that interventions that involve patients to change clinical practice, reminder systems and educational meetings have the greatest effect in improving the implementation of ACP in heart failure.
Background: Medical discipline in India focuses on cure rather than comfort care. Palliative care is concerned with improving quality of life and relieving sufferings in patients with advanced incurable terminal diseases. Palliative care in India is still in infancy stage due to lack of knowledge, attitude and skills among health care providers. The reason being lack of training in under graduate as well as postgraduate teaching curriculum and lack of sensitization among policy makers.
Aims and Objectives: To assess the awareness, interest, practices and knowledge in palliative care among medical professionals working in a tertiary care hospital.
Materials and Methods: All participants were mailed proforma to be filled in a fixed format including details of their qualification, demographic data, their field of work, their training in palliative care and multiple choice questions regarding awareness interest, practices and knowledge of palliative care.
Results: Out of 186 respondents, 56% had not received any basic training in palliative care. 81% wanted palliative care education to be included in undergraduate curriculum. Poor program was identified as the most common barrier in learning palliative care. 77% respondents had no idea about home based palliative care services. 50.8% patients dies in hospital in their terminal stage. 88% were interested in learning safe opioid practices. Although 89.8% were aware of the need of palliative care in metastatic cancer but less than 50% were aware of the fact that palliative care is also required in MDR-TB and mental illness.
Conclusion: This study reflects data of an apex cancer institute of the country. The result of awareness is not very encouraging despite a dedicated palliative care department. So, we can assume what will be the palliative care status in other parts of India where there is no palliative care at all.
Recommendation: We strongly recommends that palliative care teaching should be incorporated in undergraduate curriculum to sensitize the students from the beginning. Budding residents in their learning phase can play an important role by learning and providing palliative care as the first person to come into contact with the patients are residents. There is a strong need of spreading palliative care awareness all over the country.
While shadowing is a relatively common practice in the education of many health professionals, it is not widely used in chaplaincy education. Findings from our qualitative study of 12 chaplains who participated in the Coleman Palliative Medicine Training Program suggest it may offer benefits for practicing chaplains. In interviews with seven fellows who shadowed more experienced palliative care (PC) chaplains and the five mentors who were shadowed at their work settings, participants reported opportunities for mutual learning, self-reflection, and collegiality. Fellows observed how members of a PC team collaborate and contribute equally to the care of patients. Mentors found shadowing was a rare opportunity to share their chaplaincy practice with colleagues. It helped them to appreciate different aspects of their work settings and to distinguish between PC and generalist chaplaincy. We discuss the challenges participants experienced while shadowing and offer recommendations for incorporating the practice more widely into chaplaincy education.
OBJECTIVES: To describe the impact of advance care planning (ACP) education on nurses' confidence in ACP knowledge and practice and to identify barriers to facilitate ACP conversation in a bone marrow transplantation unit.
SAMPLE & SETTING: 60 nurses working in the bone marrow transplant unit at Oregon Health and Science University, an academic medical center.
METHODS & VARIABLES: The aim of this quality improvement project was to increase ACP conversations by nurses. The authors used a single-group pre-/post-test design to assess the effectiveness of a 30-minute educational intervention in changing nurses' confidence and practice. Group interviews were conducted to identify barriers to ACP.
RESULTS: The educational intervention increased nurses' confidence in knowledge about ACP. The number of nurses who discussed ACP with patients also increased, but it was not statistically significant. Lack of time, inefficient workflow, and concerns about questioning providers' understanding of patient preferences were identified as barriers for nurses engaging in and documenting ACP conversations.
IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING: In addition to appropriate education, strategies that help tailor ACP practice to fit into nurse workflow and promote collaboration with other healthcare team members are needed to change nurses' ACP practice.
Background: Learning palliative care is challenging for nursing students. Simulation is recommended as a learning approach. Whether experiences from simulation transfer into clinical practice must be investigated.
Objective: The aim of this study was to explore nursing students' experiences of participating in palliative care simulation and examine how they describe the perceived transfer of knowledge, skills, and competence into clinical practise.
Method: This prospective, qualitative study was comprised of 11 in-depth interviews with second-year bachelor nursing students. Content analysis was performed to analyse the answers to open-ended questions.
Results: From this sample, simulation is a preferred method to gather knowledge, skills, and attitudes towards palliative care. Realistic cases stimulated senses and feelings. Courage grew through active participation and debriefing and influenced the students' self-confidence. Debriefing seemed to alter the situation from one of chaos to control.
Conclusions: Experiences from the simulation were perceived to transfer to practice, serve as a sound basis for clinical judgement, and enable communication with patients and their relatives. Continuity in learning through simulation combined with practice is highlighted.
BACKGROUND: With India enacting the Mental Health Care Act (MHCA; No. 10 of 2017a), Psychiatric Advance Directives (PADs) have been legalised and have become binding orders for psychiatrists treating patients. There is a paucity of research into acceptability of PADs in Indian mental health care, likely due to a lack of awareness. There are no educational measures about PADs provided for in this Act. Facilitators and facilitation methods have not been elaborated upon as well.
AIM: The aim of this study is (a) to develop/evaluate the effectiveness of a structured Education-cum-Assessment Tool (EAT) in providing information regarding PADs and (b) to evaluate modes of facilitation required by patients to complete PADs.
METHODS: A tool was developed as per provisions regarding PADs in the Mental Health Care Bill of 2013. This tool was administered to patients (n = 100), purposively sampled from the adult psychiatry review out-patient department (OPD). Patients were evaluated on retention of information, completion of PADs, modes of facilitation and time taken to write one.
RESULTS: Mean years of education was 8.28 (±5.74) years and mean duration of illness was 8.30 (±7.04) years. In all, 65% had Below-Poverty Line (BPL) status. All participants completed valid PADs in an average of 15 minutes. About 93% required facilitation via assistance in writing and reminding. The mean EAT scores implied above 70% retention but did not relate to types of facilitation.
CONCLUSIONS: EAT scores can be used as an approximate measure of the patient's ability to understand and retain information which is a part of decisional capacity. Types of facilitation can help in understanding patient's ability to communicate their choices. Service providers may find EAT a time-effective tool for uniformly educating service users regarding PADs and indirectly assessing competence.
BACKGROUND: Pediatric palliative care (PPC) education is lacking in pediatric critical care medicine (PCCM) fellowships, despite the desire of many program directors and fellows to expand difficult conversation training. Simulation-based training is an experiential method for practicing challenging communication skills such as breaking bad news, disclosing medical errors, navigating goals of care, and supporting medical decision-making.
METHODS: We describe a simulation-based PPC communication series for PCCM fellows, including presimulation session, simulation session, debriefing, and evaluation methods. From 2011 to 2017, 28 PCCM fellows participated in a biannual half-day simulation session. Each session included 3 scenarios (allowing for participation in up to 18 scenarios over 3 years). Standardized patients portrayed the child's mother. PCCM and interprofessional PPC faculty cofacilitated, evaluated, and debriefed the fellows after each scenario. Fellows were evaluated in 4 communication categories (general skills, breaking bad news, goals of care, and resuscitation) using a 3-point scale. A retrospective descriptive analysis was conducted.
RESULTS: One hundred sixteen evaluations were completed for 18 PCCM fellows. Median scores for general communication items, breaking bad news, and goals of care ranged from 2.0 to 3.0 (interquartile range [IQR]: 0-1) with scores for resuscitation lower at 1.0 (IQR: 1.5-2).
DISCUSSION: This experiential simulation-based PPC communication curriculum taught PCCM fellows valuable palliative communication techniques although revealed growth opportunities within more complex communication tasks. The preparation, methods, and lessons learned for an effective palliative simulation curriculum can be expanded upon by other pediatric training programs, and a more rigorous research program should be added to educational series.
OBJECTIVES: Report the implementation, user evaluation and key outcome measures of an educational intervention-the iValidate educational programme-designed to improve engagement in shared decision-making by health professionals caring for patients with life-limiting illness (LLI).
DESIGN: Prospective, descriptive, cohort study.
PARTICIPANTS: Health professionals working in acute care settings caring for patients with an LLI.
MAIN OUTCOMES MEASURED: Participant evaluation of learning outcomes for communication skills and shared decision-making; demographic data of participants attending education workshops; and documentation of patients with LLI goals of management, including patient values and care decision based on area in acute care and seniority of doctor.
RESULTS: The programme was well accepted by participants. Participant evaluations demonstrated self-reported improved confidence in the areas of patient identification, information gathering to ascertain patient values and shared decision-making. There was strong agreement with the course-enhanced knowledge of core communication skills and advanced skills such as discussing mismatched agendas.
CONCLUSIONS: We described the educational pedagogy, implementation and key outcome measures of the iValidate education programme, an intervention designed to improve person-centred care for patients with an LLI. A targeted education programme could produce cultural and institutional change for vulnerable populations within a healthcare institution. A concurrent research programme suggests effectiveness within the current service and the potential for transferability.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Only about one-third of adult Americans have completed advance directives for end-of-life care, and primary care physicians report that they are not always comfortable discussing advance care planning (ACP) with patients. Current approaches to teaching clinicians about ACP have limited evidence of effectiveness. With the objective of improving residents' comfort and skill discussing ACP with patients, we developed a curriculum that involved clinicians and attorneys working together to teach first-year family medicine residents (R1) about leading ACP discussions with patients.
METHODS: Our curriculum consisted of a 1-hour multimedia training session on ACP followed by a series of direct in-exam room observations. Attorney and/or physician faculty observed residents holding ACP discussions with patients and provided structured feedback to residents about their performance. The initial R1 cohort observed had a series of three direct observations; the subsequent R1 cohort had two direct observations. We developed an evaluation tool with a 5-point developmental scale (beginner, novice, developing, near mastery, mastery) corresponding to the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education's milestone system to score residents' performance.
RESULTS: R1 performance improved from the beginner/novice level during the first observed ACP discussion to the novice/developing level during the second or third discussion, representing an increase in competence to that expected of a second- or early third-year resident.
CONCLUSION: Based on our initial experience, using medical-legal partnerships to teach residents about ACP may be more effective than previously reported approaches. Validation of our results with a larger sample is needed.
Nurses have unique clinical responsibilities and opportunities with patients that require strong communication skills. However, many nurses lack effective communication skills and often receive inadequate palliative care communication training and education. To promote communication education for palliative care nurses, the End-of-Life Nursing and Education Consortium created a Communication Curriculum for nurses and developed an in-person train-the-trainer course. Organized by the 8 domains of the National Consensus Project Guidelines for Quality Palliative Care, a 1-day course was provided in August 2018 to 46 nurses representing 38 institutions. Completion of precourse surveys demonstrated participants’ institutional resources for palliative care communication education and their greatest communication challenges. Immediate postcourse evaluations demonstrated that the course improved nurses’ knowledge and confidence in communication and their ability to educate others. Palliative care nurses can incorporate communication skills into their practice and provide communication skills training to their institution.
Interest and appreciation for palliative care (PC) has resulted in increased demand for both PC services and education. The PC rotation has been shown to improve PC knowledge in medical students (MS) and internal medicine (IM) residents, and PC specialists stand poised to direct the primary PC education of learners at different levels of training. To concurrently teach learners of different levels of training on a busy PC service, we created an educational system that emphasizes management of learner schedules, organization of teaching activities, faculty development to improve teaching skills, and learner self-evaluation. Both MS and IM residents showed an improvement in self-assessed competence as well as increased comfort level with seriously ill patients after PC rotation. Careful adjustment of learner schedules has accommodated an increasing number of learners, while maintaining a low learner to faculty ratio. The PC educators face an exciting and daunting challenge as the number of patients with PC needs and the number of learners requesting PC experience grow. We continue to improve milestone-based PC assessment tools, to invest in faculty development, and to explore innovative ways to support PC educators as they strive to provide consistent PC education that is both useful for learners and can be incorporated into busy PC clinical practice.
BACKGROUND: With the rapid growth in the number of fellowship programs in Hospice and Palliative Medicine (HPM), many are in the process of developing ways to demonstrate that fellows are attaining educational milestones. Reflection and self-assessment are key components of 2 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) competencies, practice-based learning and improvement, and systems-based practice, which have both been historically challenging to learn and assess.
OBJECTIVE: This article describes results of a content analysis of narrative data collected from HPM fellows' self-assessments as they performed hospice home visits independently in a new clinical rotation.
DESIGN: This was a prospective qualitative study.
SETTINGS/PARTICIPANTS: Eight fellows completed 217 unsupervised hospice home visits from 2014 to 2016.
MEASUREMENTS: Fellows completed weekly self-assessment forms, which captured both clinical visit information and practice data elicited from responses to open-ended reflection prompts.
RESULTS: Analysis of 29 self-assessment forms generated 6 themes: patient- and family-centered care, self-efficacy, systems-based care, commitment to doing their best, catalyst for professional growth, and purpose and meaning in work. The fellows recognized numerous barriers distinct to providing care in homes. All fellows felt prepared to perform home visits throughout the rotation and after training.
CONCLUSIONS: Narrative data collected during the independent home visit rotation provided evidence that HPM fellows detected gaps in their performance, planned for practice improvements in subsequent visits, and valued working within an interprofessional team. Built-in opportunities for fellows to reflect during training are critical in meeting ACGME milestones, and are integral to their professional development.
BACKGROUND: Virtual reality (VR) immersive environments have been shown to be effective in medical teaching. Our university hospital received funding from our deanery, Health Education in Wales, to film teaching videos with a 360-degree camera.
AIMS: To evaluate whether VR is an effective and acceptable teaching environment. VR headsets were set up for medical students who rotated through Velindre Cancer Hospital's Palliative Care department.
METHODS: Students were asked to put on a VR headset and experience a pre-recorded 27 min presentation on nausea and vomiting in palliative care settings. They subsequently viewed a radiotherapy treatment experience from a patient's point of view.
RESULTS: Of the 72 medical students who participated, 70 found the experience comfortable, with two students stating they felt the experience uncomfortable (1=too tight; 1=blurry visuals). Numerical scoring on ability to concentrate in VR from 0 to 10 (0=worst, 10=best) scored an average of 8.44 (range, 7-10). Asked whether this format suited their learning style, average score was 8.31 (range 6-10). 97.2 % (n=70) students stated that they would recommend this form of learning to a colleague, with one student saying he/she would not recommend and another stating he/she was unsure. Students left anonymous free-text feedback comments which helped frame future needs in this emerging area.
DISCUSSION: This study suggests that there is room for exploring new ways of delivering teaching and expanding it more widely in palliative care and oncology, but also provides feedback on areas that need further careful attention. Comments from students included: "Might have been the novelty factor but I learnt more from this 20 min VR thing than I have from many lectures".
SUMMARY: The project has proved sufficiently popular in medical student feedback, that the VR experience is now available on YouTube and has been permanently introduced into routine teaching. Further 360-degree teaching environments have been filmed. Of note is that our 360-degree videos have been viewed in Africa, so this format of teaching could prove valuable due to its global reach.
Context: Although palliative care is rapidly being disseminated throughout Japan as a result of government policy, a systematic syllabus of palliative medicine for physicians has not been developed.
Aims: This study aimed to develop a Japanese national consensus syllabus of palliative medicine for physicians.
Design: We used a modified Delphi method to develop the consensus syllabus.
Methods and Setting: We created a Delphi panel by selecting 20 expert eligible panelists consisting of Diplomate or Faculty of the Specialty Board of Palliative Medicine and certified by the Japanese Society for Palliative Medicine. We inducted external reviewers from 11 palliative care-related organizations.
Results: Among 20 experts surveyed, 20 (100%) responded over all rounds. Ten (50%) participated in a panel meeting. In the first round, 179 of 179 (100%) learning objectives were judged to be appropriate and 5 of 179 (3%) learning objectives were judged to be too difficult. In the panel meeting, 25 learning objectives were excluded, three new learning objectives were added, and 15 learning objectives were reworded. In the second round, 18 of 18 (100%) learning objectives were judged to be appropriate. The final version of the syllabus developed consists of 157 specific behavioural objectives and 22 general instructional objectives across 22 courses.
Conclusions: We have developed the first national consensus syllabus of palliative medicine for physicians in Japan. Based on this syllabus, a training program on palliative medicine will be established by training facilities in Japan, and physicians will be able to practice specific palliative care.
BACKGROUND: Effective leadership is necessary to meet the complex care needs of patients with serious, life-limiting illness. The Cambia Health Foundation Sojourns Scholars Program is advancing leadership in palliative care through supporting emerging leaders. The 2016 Cohort has implemented a range of projects to promote their leadership development.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the leadership themes emerging from individual project implementation of the 2016 Sojourns Leadership.
METHODS: We summarize the synthesized leadership themes derived from both remote and in-person meetings and written reflections of the 2016 Cambia Sojourn Leadership Cohort.
RESULTS: The 2016 Cambia Sojourn Leadership Scholar Cohort projects are described. We identified three leadership themes related to palliative care initiatives: openness and flexibility, partnership and team building, and leveraging expertise and risk.
DISCUSSION: Unprecedented challenges in a rapidly changing health environment demand palliative care leadership to influence care quality, delivery, policy, and clinical care. Flexibility and openness; partnership and team building; and expertise to implement change emerged as critical themes to advancing the care of patients with serious, life-limiting illness. These leadership themes are consistent with both previous Cambia Sojourns Scholar cohorts and the literature, are essential for the next generation of leaders to implement new models of quality palliative care, payment for palliative care, and education for patients, caregivers, and health care providers.
CONCLUSION: In order to design and implement quality palliative care, leadership development is essential. Use of flexibility and openness; partnership and team building; and expertise to implement change are important themes for success. Whether through the Cambia Health Foundation Sojourns Leadership Program or opportunities within professional organizations, cultivation of the next generation of leaders is critical.
As the number of older adults and those with chronic medical conditions continues to rise, the need to train social work students in palliative and end-of-life competencies becomes critical. To address this growing need, the social work team at a large urban academic medical center in the Midwest developed an MSW concentration practicum in palliative and end-of-life care. During the practicum, students receive immersive training in palliative care social work values and the skills required for these specialized assessments, interventions, and evaluations. Their training culminates in their participation on an interdisciplinary team to provide psychosocial support to patients and families receiving palliative and end-of-life care throughout the medical center. This article describes the curriculum, practice immersion, training manual, teaching modules, and structure of student supervision which is applicable to and adaptable for other palliative care social work field instructors.