60. Using a pocket card to improve end-of-life care on clinical teaching units: A controlled trials

J. Downar, J. Mikhael

Abstract


Although palliative and end-of-life is a critical part of in-hospital medical care, residents often have very little formal education in this field. To determine the efficacy of a symptom management pocket card in improving the comfort level and knowledge of residents in delivering end-of-life care on medical clinical teaching units, we performed a controlled trial involving residents on three clinical teaching units.
Residents at each site were given a 5-minute questionnaire at the start and at the end of their medicine ward rotation. Measures of self-reported comfort levels were assessed, as were 5 multiple-choice questions reflecting key knowledge areas in end-of-life care. Residents at all three sites were given didactic teaching sessions covering key concepts in palliative and end-of-life care over the course of their medicine ward rotation. Residents at the intervention site were also given a pocket card with information regarding symptom management in end-of-life care.
Over 10 months, 137 residents participated on the three clinical teaching units. Comfort levels improved in both control (p < 0.01) and intervention groups (p < 0.01), but the intervention group was significantly more comfortable than the control group at the end of their rotations (z=2.77, p < 0.01). Knowledge was not significantly improved in the control group (p=0.07), but was significantly improved in the intervention group (p < 0.01). The knowledge difference between the two groups approached but did not reach statistical significance at the end of their rotation.
In conclusion, our pocket card is a feasible, economical educational intervention that improves resident comfort level and knowledge in delivering end-of-life care on clinical teaching units.
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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.25011/cim.v30i4.2821

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