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J Palliat Med. 2017 Apr 24. doi: 10.1089/jpm.2016.0556. [Epub ahead of print]

Training Pediatric Fellows in Palliative Care: A Pilot Comparison of Simulation Training and Didactic Education.

Author information

1
1 Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Emory University , Atlanta, Georgia .
2
2 Aflac Cancer & Blood Disorders Center , Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia .
3
3 Pediatric Palliative Care, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta , Atlanta, Georgia .
4
4 Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University , Stanford, California.
5
5 Division of Hematology/Oncology, Stanford University , Stanford, California.
6
6 Division of Critical Care Medicine, Stanford University , Stanford, California.
7
7 Division of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Stanford University , Stanford, California.
8
8 Division of Neonatal and Developmental Medicine, Stanford University , Stanford, California.
9
9 Center for Advanced Pediatric and Perinatal Education, Stanford University , Stanford, California.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Pediatric fellows receive little palliative care (PC) education and have few opportunities to practice communication skills.

OBJECTIVE:

In this pilot study, we assessed (1) the relative effectiveness of simulation-based versus didactic education, (2) communication skill retention, and (3) effect on PC consultation rates.

DESIGN:

Thirty-five pediatric fellows in cardiology, critical care, hematology/oncology, and neonatology at two institutions enrolled: 17 in the intervention (simulation-based) group (single institution) and 18 in the control (didactic education) group (second institution). Intervention group participants participated in a two-day program over three months (three simulations and videotaped PC panel). Control group participants received written education designed to be similar in content and time.

MEASUREMENTS:

(1) Self-assessment questionnaires were completed at baseline, post-intervention and three months; mean between-group differences for each outcome measure were assessed. (2) External reviewers rated simulation-group encounters on nine communication domains. Within-group changes over time were assessed. (3) The simulation-based site's PC consultations were compared in the six months pre- and post-intervention.

RESULTS:

Compared to the control group, participants in the intervention group improved in self-efficacy (p = 0.003) and perceived adequacy of medical education (p < 0.001), but not knowledge (p = 0.20). Reviewers noted nonsustained improvement in four domains: relationship building (p = 0.01), opening discussion (p = 0.03), gathering information (p = 0.01), and communicating accurate information (p = 0.04). PC consultation rate increased 64%, an improvement when normalized to average daily census (p = 0.04).

CONCLUSIONS:

This simulation-based curriculum is an effective method for improving PC comfort, education, and consults. More frequent practice is likely needed to lead to sustained improvements in communication competence.

KEYWORDS:

communication; end-of-life; medical education; palliative care; pediatric fellows; pediatrics; simulation

PMID:
28436742
DOI:
10.1089/jpm.2016.0556
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