The purpose of this pilot was to identify the effects of a 4-credit interdisciplinary undergraduate course focused on communication strategies to enhance spiritual care at the end of life. The course provided students with opportunities to enhance their ability to communicate empathically with individuals facing the end of life. Evidence-based content focused on ways to live each day with hope and gratitude, strengthen relationships, create a legacy, and find meaning and purpose in life and death. Narayanasamy's (1999) Actioning Spirituality and Spiritual Care Education and Training in Nursing model guided project development. The study used a prospective, pretest/posttest design. Participants included undergraduate students (n = 34) from nursing, premedicine, athletic training, business, economics, and religious studies at a Midwest liberal arts college. Statistically significant differences were found in students' attitudes toward and knowledge of spirituality/spiritual care (P < .0001, Cohen's d = 0.59), spiritual care competence (P < .0001, Cohen's d = 0.79), and level of response empathy through role play (P < .0001, Cohen's d = 0.92). Many students referred to this course as “life changing” and “healing.” As our students go out into the community, they may intimately touch the lives and hearts of future patients, family, and friends who face the end of life with their compassionate words.
Nearly all reports of interprofessional education (IPE) in palliative care have excluded pharmacy students. This article describes an IPE event between pharmacy and nursing students and assesses its impact on IPE competencies. Second-year nursing students and third-year pharmacy students participated in an evening-long event, focused on a married couple who each require palliative care—one for end-of-life planning and one for chronic disease progression. The impact of the event was assessed using the Interprofessional Collaborative Competency Attainment Scale (ICCAS) and qualitative feedback. Two hundred nine (96.7%) completed the ICCAS, and 16 of the 20 statements of the ICCAS showed large positive effect sizes (Cohen d >= 0.8), with the remaining 4 showing moderate positive effect sizes (Cohen d >= 0.5). The greatest effect sizes were related to improved awareness of complementary skillsets and knowledge between the professions. Addressing team conflict and including the patient/family in decision-making showed the least improvement. While ongoing interactions are ideal for the development of skills related to conflict and team development, this article demonstrates that even a 1-time activity can have an impact on students' interprofessional care competence.
The purpose of this quality improvement project was to evaluate a statewide initiative promoting Advance Care Planning (ACP) to educate and support multidisciplinary ACP educators and provide tools to start ACP conversations in a predominantly rural state of the Upper Midwest. Individual objectives were to (1) motivate people of different professions and backgrounds to support the vision and (2) implement a system to educate and maintain a pipeline of ACP educators in appropriate methodologies to enable ACP in distant communities. The Advance Care Planning: Quality Conversations coalition was formed in 2015 to improve health care across the life span. The Reach-Effectiveness-Adoption-Implementation-Maintenance framework was applied to evaluate the project. Outcome variables were measured before, during, and after program implementation through service statistics and a questionnaire. Participation in the coalition's membership team between September 2015 and September 2019 ranged from 18 to 36 with a median of 27 and mode of 27. At least 20 different professions were represented. The coalition provided funds for educating 9 ACP instructors and 180 facilitators according to the Respecting Choices–First Steps ACP program. The coalition's mission has generated sustained interest for 4 years. Key elements and obstacles to implementing a statewide coalition were identified.
Hospice interdisciplinary teams (IDTs) are required to meet regularly to update care plans for terminally ill patients and their family caregivers. Although providers see value in these meetings, they also experience frustration over meeting inefficiencies and communication challenges. The current article presents ENVISION, a tool designed to improve communication in hospice IDT meetings by providing attendees with access to up-to-date patient and family data to inform clinical decision making. In the current qualitative descriptive study, researchers explored the perspectives of hospice providers (n = 21) and family caregivers (n = 10) regarding ENVISION's usefulness and ease of use. Numerous factors influenced participants' perceptions of the tool as useful, including its impact on task efficiency, effectiveness, and difficulty. Perceptions of ENVISION's ease of use focused on ease of learning, operating, and interpreting data the tool provided. Findings suggest ENVISION would benefit hospice nurses in care management and senior leadership positions. [Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 46(7), 9-14.].
AIM/OBJECTIVE: The purpose of the project was to provide information to inform the choice of educational resources available in British Columbia to support palliative care competency development for 4 disciplines: nurses, physicians, health care assistants, and social workers/counsellors. This article will describe the process of resource review. Results of the review are available at https://www.bc-cpc.ca/cpc/education-resource-review/ . The objectives were to (1) identify gaps common to all educational resources, (2) provide information on content addressing competencies as well as logistics such as time required, cost, delivery method, and training requirements for instructors, and (3) develop a reproducible process for assessment of educational resources which is unbiased, transparent, and competency based.
METHOD: Sixteen educational resources were assessed for the percentage of competencies that were addressed. Gaps common to all resources were identified.
RESULTS: The review process is described and can be replicated when assessing future versions of these and other palliative continuing education courses. This is a reproducible methodology for review of competency-based educational resources which could be applied for any practice-related subject.
CONCLUSION: This review process provided information which can inform a provincial interprofessional palliative education plan. The methodology may be used by others to assess and choose between competency-based education resources with a palliative population focus and other patient population foci.
OBJECTIVE: to map the available evidence on the main topics investigated in palliative care in primary health care.
METHOD: scoping review type study carried out in five databases, including original articles, based on the descriptors palliative care, palliative care at the end of life, terminal care, terminal state, primary health care and their respective acronyms and synonyms, totaling 18 publications. The extraction of data from primary studies was performed using an instrument produced by the authors and which allowed the construction of the categories presented.
RESULTS: 18 publications were included in this review. Among the most studied themes are the difficulties of the teams regarding the continuity of care in the health network; the importance of in-service education by the multidisciplinary team; professional unpreparedness; bioethics; the validation and application of scales for prognosis and care for some pathologies such as cancer and diabetes; among others.
CONCLUSION: it became evident that palliative care in primary health care has been gradually developed, but it is necessary to consider the organization of primary health care and the social policies that support or weaken it, being considered a complex challenge.
D'un projet de formation, nous avons abouti à la création d'un outil pédagogique interactif de simulation de situations cliniques, le jeu "Kipal". Nous avons découvert que notre création était une méthode d'enseignement ludopédagogique. Mais au-delà d'un simple partage de connaissances, ce jeu a montré l'avantage inattendu d'un fort potentiel d'interdisciplinarité.
Context: During the course of March and April 2020, New York City experienced a surge of a 170,000 coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases, overwhelming hospital systems and leading to an unprecedented need for palliative care services.
Objectives: to present a model for rapid palliative care workforce expansion under crisis conditions, using supervised advanced psychiatry trainees to provide primary palliative services in the acute care and emergency setting.
Methods: In response to the New York City COVID-19 surge, advanced psychiatry trainees at New York-Presbyterian Columbia University Irving Medical Center were rapidly trained and redeployed to a newly formed psychiatry-palliative care liaison team. Under the supervision of consultation-liaison psychiatrists (who also served as team coordinators), these trainees provided circumscribed palliative care services to patients and/or their families, including goals-of-care discussions and psychosocial support. Palliative care attendings remained available to all team members for more advanced and specialized supervision.
Results: The psychiatry-palliative care liaison team effectively provided palliative care services during the early phase and peak of New York City's COVID-19 crisis, managing up to 16 new cases per day and provided longitudinal follow-up, thereby enabling palliative care specialists to focus on providing services requiring specialist-level palliative care expertise.
Conclusion: by training and supervising psychiatrists and advanced psychiatry trainees in specific palliative care roles, palliative care teams could more effectively meet markedly increased service needs of varying complexity during the COVID-19 crisis. As new geographic regions experience possible COVID-19 surges in the coming months, this may serve as a model for rapidly increasing palliative care workforce.
This study explored the experience of pharmacists, social workers, and nurses who participated in Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) in a tertiary care Canadian hospital. Consenting staff participated in qualitative semistructured interviews, which were then analyzed for thematic content. This article reports on the broad theme of “support” from the perspective of the 3 professions, focusing on the diversity in perceptions of support, how MAiD was discussed within health care teams, feelings of gratuitous or excessive gestures of support, ambivalence over debriefs, and the importance of informal support. While pharmacists and social workers generally felt part of a community that supported MAiD, nurses more often expressed opinions as highly divergent. The key finding across all themes was the central importance of the culture on any unit with respect to MAiD and specifically the role of the unit manager in creating either a positive open space for communication or a more silent or closed space. Nursing noted that in the latter setting many gestures of support were experienced as insincere and counterproductive, as were debriefs. We outline several recommendations for managers based on the study results with the intent of tailoring support for all professionals involved in MAiD.
The emergency department (ED) provides immediate access to medical care for patients and families in times of need. Increasingly, older patients with serious illness seek care in the ED, hoping for relief from symptoms and suffering associated with advanced disease. Until recently, emergency medicine (EM) clinicians have been ill-equipped to meet the needs of patients with serious illness, and palliative services have been largely unavailable in the ED. However, in the past decade, there has been growing recognition from within both the EM and palliative medicine communities on the importance of palliative care provision in the ED. The past 10 years have seen a surge in EM-palliative care training and education, quality improvement projects, and research. As a result, the practice paradigm within EM for the seriously ill has begun to shift to incorporate more palliative care practices. Despite this progress, substantial work has yet to be done in terms of identifying ED patients in need of palliative care, training EM clinicians to provide high-quality primary palliative care, creating pathways for ED referral to palliative care and hospice, and researching the outcomes and impact of palliative care provision on patients with serious illness in the ED.
Background: Oncologists often struggle with managing the unique care needs of older adults with cancer. This study sought to determine the feasibility of delivering a transdisciplinary intervention targeting the geriatric-specific (physical function and comorbidity) and palliative care (symptoms and prognostic understanding) needs of older adults with advanced cancer.
Methods: Patients aged =65 years with incurable gastrointestinal or lung cancer were randomly assigned to a transdisciplinary intervention or usual care. Those in the intervention arm received 2 visits with a geriatrician, who addressed patients’ palliative care needs and conducted a geriatric assessment. We predefined the intervention as feasible if >70% of eligible patients enrolled in the study and >75% of eligible patients completed study visits and surveys. At baseline and week 12, we assessed patients’ quality of life (QoL), symptoms, and communication confidence. We calculated mean change scores in outcomes and estimated intervention effect sizes (ES; Cohen’s d) for changes from baseline to week 12, with 0.2 indicating a small effect, 0.5 a medium effect, and 0.8 a large effect. Results: From February 2017 through June 2018, we randomized 62 patients (55.9% enrollment rate [most common reason for refusal was feeling too ill]; median age, 72.3 years; cancer types: 56.5% gastrointestinal, 43.5% lung). Among intervention patients, 82.1% attended the first visit and 79.6% attended both. Overall, 89.7% completed all study surveys. Compared with usual care, intervention patients had less QoL decrement (–0.77 vs –3.84; ES = 0.21), reduced number of moderate/severe symptoms (–0.69 vs +1.04; ES = 0.58), and improved communication confidence (+1.06 vs –0.80; ES = 0.38).
Conclusions: In this pilot trial, enrollment exceeded 55%, and >75% of enrollees completed all study visits and surveys. The transdisciplinary intervention targeting older patients’ unique care needs showed encouraging ES estimates for enhancing patients’ QoL, symptom burden, and communication confidence.
PURPOSE: ASCO guidelines recommend palliative care (PC) referral for patients with advanced or metastatic cancer. Despite this, implementation has considerable hurdles. First-year oncology fellows at our institution identified low rates of PC utilization in their longitudinal clinic as a metric needing improvement.
METHODS: A fellow-led multidisciplinary team aimed to increase PC utilization for patients with advanced cancer followed in he first-year fellows' clinic from a baseline of 11.5% (5 of 43 patients, July to December of 2018) to 30% over a 6-month period. Utilization was defined as evaluation in the outpatient PC clinic hosted in the cancer center. The team identified the following barriers to referral: orders difficult to find in the electronic medical record (EMR), multiple consulting mechanisms (EMR, by phone, or in person), EMR request not activating formal consult, no centralized scheduler to contact or confirm appointment, and poor awareness of team structure. Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycles were implemented based on identified opportunities. Data were obtained from the EMR.
RESULTS: The first PDSA cycle included focus groups with stakeholders, standardizing referral process via single order set, identifying a single scheduler with bidirectional communication, and disseminating process changes. PDSA cycles were implemented from January to June of 2019. Rates of PC use increased from 11.5% before the intervention to 48.4% (48 of 99 patients) after the intervention.
CONCLUSION: A multidisciplinary approach and classic quality improvement methodology improved PC use in patients with advanced cancer. The pilot succeeded given the small number of fellows, buy-in from stakeholders, and institutional and leadership support. Straightforward EMR interventions and ancillary staff use are effective in addressing underreferrals.
Half of adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the US will be 75 years or older by 2030. Patients with COPD often have years of debilitating symptoms that accelerate their loss of independence and well-being. COPD is progressive and incurable; many patients are frail and socially isolated and struggle with long lists of medications. Their care is often chaotic and fragmented, with frequent emergency department visits and hospitalizations. Given the limited numbers of geriatricians and palliative care specialists, clinicians who routinely care for patients with COPD should proactively integrate geriatrics and palliative care principles into their daily practice.
Objectives: Optimal cystic fibrosis (CF) end-of-life care (EOLC) is a challenge. There is little formal guidance about who should deliver this and how CF multi-disciplinary teams should interact with specialist palliative care. We assessed the knowledge, experience and preparedness of both CF and palliative care professionals for CF EOLC.
Methods: An electronic questionnaire was distributed to all members of the Oxford adult CF and palliative care teams.
Results: 35 of a possible 63 members responded (19 CF team; 16 palliative care). Levels of preparedness were low in both groups. Only 11% of CF and 19% of palliative care team members felt fully prepared for EOLC in adult CF. 58% of CF members had no (21%) or minimal (37%) general palliative care training. Similarly, 69% of the palliative care team had no CF-specific training. All respondents desired additional education. CF team members preferred further education in general EOLC while palliative care team members emphasised a need for more CF-specific knowledge.
Conclusions: Few members of either the CF or palliative care teams felt fully prepared to deliver CF EOLC and many desired additional educations. They expressed complementary knowledge gaps, which suggests both could benefit from increased collaboration and sharing of specialist knowledge.
Context and Objectives: The myriad of benefits of early palliative care (PC) integration in oncology are well established, and emerging evidence suggests that PC improves symptom burden, mood, and quality of life for hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) recipients. Specific impact of PC consultation on outcomes of older allogeneic HCT (allo-HCT) recipients, a historically high-risk population vulnerable to transplant-related complications and mortality, has not been explored.
Design and Methods: In this single institution, retrospective analysis of 527 first allo-HCT recipients aged =60 years, we characterized 75 patients who had received post-HCT PC consultation and its association with geriatric vulnerabilities identified by pre-HCT geriatric assessment. We also examined end-of-life care outcomes among patients who died within one-year of allo-hematopoietic cell transplantation.
Results: In multivariate analysis, higher disease risk, female gender, and, importantly, pre-HCT functional limitation (hazard ratio 2.35, 95% confidence interval, 1.35–4.09, p = 0.003) were associated with post-HCT PC utilization. Within one-year of hematopoietic cell transplantation, 127 patients died; among those, recipients of early PC consultation had significantly higher rates of hospice enrollment (25% vs. 9%, p = 0.019) and lower rates of hospital death (71% vs. 90%, p = 0.013), intensive care unit admission (44% vs. 75%, p = 0.001), and high-intensity medical care in last 30 days of life (46% vs. 77%, p = 0.001).
Conclusions: Our results highlight important pre-HCT risk factors associated with increased PC needs posthematopoietic cell transplantation and benefits of PC involvement for older allo-HCT recipients at the end of life. Prospective studies should examine the optimal timing of PC consultation and its multidimensional benefits for older allo-HCT patients.
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.
Interprofessional education allows students to collaborate with students and professionals of multiple disciplines. An Interdisciplinary Palliative Care (IPC) Seminar, held in the Midwest, involves students from disciplines of medicine, nursing, pharmacy, social work, and chaplaincy. The curriculum of the seminar incorporates asynchronous and synchronous didactic presentations, experiential learning through group exercises and discussion, along with home visits by students in interdisciplinary dyads. The purpose of this study was to determine whether students’ participation in a 3-week IPC seminar would positively influence their socialization and value of interprofessional collaboration with the ultimate goal of developing skilled professionals who engage in interprofessional practice in hospice and palliative care settings. This descriptive study invited participants to take a pre- and postseminar online survey using the Interprofessional Socialization and Valuing Scale-21 (ISVS-21) to assess shifts in students’ perceptions of interprofessional socialization and the value of collaborative health-care practice. In their pre-and postseminar scores, 71 participants reported they more strongly agreed with all items on the ISVS-21 after completing the seminar. The results from this study suggest the IPC Seminar is an effective educational model for advancing the value of interprofessional socialization and collaborative practice in hospice and palliative health-care.
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.
Dementia management is complicated by neuropsychiatric symptoms such that the longitudinal care of a psychiatrist or other mental health provider is often an essential part of patient care and a major source of family support. Given the importance of end-of-life continuity of care, the involvement of psychiatry in palliative and hospice services affords an important opportunity for growth. Common challenges involve sharing prognostic information with patients and families to aid in advance planning, and management of persistent pain and nutritional issues. Future research will yield important new insights and guidelines for care.
BACKGROUND: Dedicated identified palliative care beds (IPCB) are unique to France.
AIMS: This study aimed to assess their use and advantages in a medical oncology department of a private provincial hospital.
FINDINGS: Of the last 100 patients who died in the medical oncology department, 57 had an IPCB. Those with an IPCB had a longer final hospital stay and significant advantages for them were access to pain evaluation by nurses and professional psychological support. Opioid use was higher, but not significantly so. There were no significant differences for the presence of close relatives, physiotherapy interventions, social workers or specific anti-cancer treatment in the last 15 days of life.
CONCLUSION: This study shows some advantages for IPCB (treatment of pain, psychologist), which should be further explored. The length of the final hospital stay is controversial.