Pccm fellows' palliative care knowledge and attitudes surrounding a pilot educational initiative


Pccm fellows' palliative care knowledge and attitudes surrounding a pilot educational initiative


Short SR; Poynter-Wong S; Flint H


Critical Care Medicine




palliative therapy; Child; Clinical Article; cohort analysis; comfort; communication skill; Curriculum; Death; Human; Intensive Care; legal aspect; Likert scale; maturation; prospective study; role playing; simulation; spike


Learning Objectives: The importance of Palliative and End of Life Care (PC, EOL) for children in the PICU with life-limiting, chronic conditions is increasingly recognized (1). Robust PC improves outcomes by symptom score, cost, and length of life (2-4). Pediatric Critical Care fellows (PCCF) report deficiencies in PC education and knowledge (5-7). This study measured PC knowledge, attitudes, and skills of PCCF at one center assessing how maturation impacts those indices. Methods: Prospective cohort study of PCCF surrounded a series of PC workshops. Two validated adapted tools evaluated endpoints; a survey of PCCFs' comfort, knowledge and experience (8) and a Communication Assessment (CA) using SPIKES methodology (9). Graduating fellows (GF, n = 4) and a current fellow cohort (CF, n = 11) completed the survey. In a simulation workshop, faculty (n = 2) used the CA to rate fellows' communication skills (n = 15). A CF cohort (n = 11) completed the post-curriculum survey. Results: Assessed PCCF's knowledge, attitudes and skills show maturation alone inadequately instructs PC, reflecting national data (5-9). Maturation did not alter self-appraised comfort providing PC in 6 (Likert scale 1-5)(composite scores by year; 1st 3.6, 2nd 3.3; 3rd; 3.5). With training, comfort managing conflict and emotion (1st 3.2; 3rd 3), symptoms at EOL (1st 3.7; 2nd 3.6; 3rd 4.1), and legal aspects of PC (1st 3.6; 3rd 3.7) did not change. Nor, did it improve objective knowledge scores (by year; 1st 54%; 2nd 46%; 3rd 51%; GF 65% p> 0.05) or communication skills by CA (scale 0-4)(1st 2.2; 2nd 2.6; 3rd 2). PC exposure, gauged by care conferences (cc) led and recalled deaths on clinical duty (cc 1-25; M= 8.5; deaths 5-36; M 13.5), did not correlate with comfort, communication skills, or knowledge. Post-workshop, more PCCF found PC education helpful (90 v 60%) with new openness to workshops, online modules, and role-play versus didactics and observation pre-workshop. Conclusions: This study demonstrates knowledge gaps and a lack of communication skills commiserate with self-reported comfort in PC among PCCF. Maturation did not improve these endpoints. Fellows are also open to and request more PC education after exposure to a multi-modal educational intervention. Findings indicate that PCCF want and need specific curricula to affect PC knowledge and skills.


Article information provided for research and reference use only. PedPalASCNET does not hold any rights over the resource listed here. All rights are retained by the journal listed under publisher and/or the creator(s).

Citation List Month

March 2018 List





Short SR; Poynter-Wong S; Flint H, “Pccm fellows' palliative care knowledge and attitudes surrounding a pilot educational initiative,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed July 23, 2021, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/14560.

Social Bookmarking