Using a pocket card to improve end-of-life care on internal medicine clinical teaching units: a cluster-randomized controlled trial.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: End-of-life care is suboptimally taught in undergraduate and postgraduate education in Canada. Previous interventions to improve residents' knowledge and comfort have involved lengthy comprehensive educational modules or dedicated palliative care rotations. OBJECTIVE: To determine the effectiveness of a cheap, portable, and easily implemented pocket reference for improving residents' knowledge and comfort level in dealing with pain and symptom management on the medical ward. DESIGN: Cluster-randomized controlled trial conducted from August 2005 to June 2006. SETTING: Medical clinical teaching units (CTUs) in 3 academic hospitals in Toronto, Canada. PARTICIPANTS: All residents rotating through the medical CTUs who consented to participate in the study. INTERVENTION: Residents at 1 hospital received a pocket reference including information about pain and symptom control, as well as 1-2 didactic end-of-life teaching sessions per month normally given as part of the rotation. Residents at the other 2 hospitals received only the didactic sessions. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: A 10-question survey assessing knowledge and comfort level providing end-of-life care to medical inpatients, as well as focus group interviews. RESULTS: One hundred thirty-six residents participated on 3 CTUs for a participation rate of approximately 75%. Comfort levels improved in both control (p < .01) and intervention groups (p < .01), but the increase in comfort level was significantly higher in the intervention group (z = 2.57, p < .01). Knowledge was not significantly improved in the control group (p = .06), but was significantly improved in the intervention group (p = .01). Greater than 90% of residents in the intervention group used the card at least once per week, and feedback from the focus groups was very positive. CONCLUSIONS: Our pocket card is a feasible, economical, and educational intervention that improves resident comfort level and knowledge in delivering end-of-life care on CTUs.
Project description:IntroductionIntimate partner violence (IPV) is a prevalent problem with profound health consequences. Research suggests that internal medicine (IM) residents are unprepared to screen for and address IPV. We designed a curriculum to improve IM residents’ knowledge, attitudes, and practices in caring for IPV survivors.MethodsThe curriculum was delivered to first-year IM residents from 2016 to 2017 at Johns Hopkins Bayview. Part 1 was 60 minutes long, with a video, evidence-based didactic teaching, and case-based discussion. Part 2 was 90 minutes long, with evidence-based didactic teaching, role-play of patient-provider conversations about IPV, and debriefing about strategies for discussing IPV. We evaluated knowledge, confidence, and self-reported behaviors pre- and postintervention using two-tailed paired t tests.ResultsThirty-two residents received IPV training. In comparing precurriculum (n = 29, 91% of total participants) and postcurriculum (n = 28, 88% of total participants) surveys, there was significant improvement in knowledge about IPV (p < .001). Postcurriculum, learners reported greater confidence in detecting IPV (p < .001), documenting IPV (p < .001), and referring to resources (p < .001). Participants reported increased comfort with managing difficult emotions about IPV in patients (p < .01) and themselves (p < .001) and increased comfort in discussing IPV with female (p < .001) and male (p < .001) patients. Postcurriculum, all respondents felt they were more skillful in discussing IPV and would be more likely to screen for IPV.DiscussionOur curriculum improved residents’ knowledge, confidence, comfort, and preparedness in screening for and discussing IPV.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Research suggests pediatrics practitioners lack confidence and skills in the end-of-life (EOL) care. OBJECTIVE: This pilot study explored the impact of a curriculum designed to prepare future pediatricians to manage pain and provide comfort for children and infants with life-threatening conditions and to be more confident and competent in their EOL discussions with families. METHODS: Participants included 8 postgraduate year (PGY)-2 residents in the study group and 9 PGY-3 residents in a control group. The EOL curriculum included 4, 1-hour sessions consisting of didactic lectures, videos, and small-group, interactive discussions. Topics included discussing EOL with families, withdrawal of care, and pain assessment and management. Curriculum evaluation used an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE), self-assessment confidence and competency questionnaire, and a follow-up survey 18 months after the intervention. RESULTS: The OSCE showed no statistically significant differences between PGY-2 versus PGY-3 residents in discussing EOL issues with family (mean = 48.3 [PGY-2] versus 41.0 [PGY-3]), managing withdrawal of care (mean = 20.9 [PGY-2] versus 18.91 [PGY-3]), and managing adolescent pain (mean = 30.97 [PGY-2] versus 29.27 [PGY-3]). The self-assessment confidence and competency scores improved significantly after the intervention for both PGY-2 residents (0.62 versus 0.86, P < .01) and PGY-3 residents (0.61 versus 0.85, P < .01). CONCLUSIONS: An EOL curriculum for PGY-2 pediatrics residents delivered during the intensive care unit rotation is feasible and may be effective. Residents reported the curriculum was useful in their practice.
Project description:Introduction:Adverse events are common in medical training and practice, which can lead to distress among providers. One method of coping with distress is debriefing, which has been shown to improve participants' ability to manage their grief and has been associated with lower rates of burnout. Methods:We designed this 2-hour workshop to provide senior residents with the knowledge and skills to lead debriefing sessions within their teams. In this curriculum, we have included a workshop facilitator's guide, didactic information reviewing the components of effective debriefing, a video of a sample debriefing, two videos demonstrating potential debriefing challenges, small-group practice cases, a debriefing pocket card resource, and pre- and postworkshop survey evaluations. Results:Twenty second-year pediatric and medicine-pediatric residents were included in the pilot study of this workshop. They reported an average of 2.2 (SD = 2.4) distressing events in the preceding month. None of the residents had received previous training in debriefing, and only 10% had previously led a debriefing session. Pre- and postintervention surveys demonstrated significant increases in resident comfort in and likelihood of leading a debriefing session, as well as in recognition of personal distress. Discussion:This workshop serves as one model to enhance training and education regarding debriefing in residency training programs. The issue of distress is not unique to residents, and although this training was initially designed for that population, it could easily be adapted to reach a broader audience of medical trainees and providers.
Project description:Introduction:While family-centered rounds (FCR) have become increasingly important in pediatrics, there is often no training for residents on appropriate FCR practice. This curriculum was developed to address this identified gap in pediatric trainee education through a combination of didactic presentation, direct observation, and simulated FCR. Methods:Residents participated in a didactic presentation on key components of FCR and tenets of communication with families. A subset of residents participated in a simulated intervention in which they practiced an FCR encounter using a mock patient case and received immediate feedback from a multidisciplinary team. Following the simulation, residents completed follow-up surveys and focus group discussions to assess their experience and comfort. Resident trainees were observed and rated during FCR by trained parent advisors using a novel FCR checklist both before and after participation in the simulation. Results:This curriculum was implemented with 10 pediatric interns (intervention group). These residents demonstrated statistically significant improvements in the areas of greeting family by name and soliciting rounding preferences, enhancing family comfort in participating in FCR, and increasing family engagement in FCR. Compared to controls, intervention group residents had higher ratings on the majority of performance items. Resident-reported self-efficacy in conducting FCR increased following the intervention, and the feedback portion of the intervention was highly valued. Discussion:Simulation-based training is an effective model for teaching residents best practices in FCR with lasting impact on resident communication skills as seen in comparative analysis from before and after the intervention.
Project description:BACKGROUND: To practice Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM), physicians must quickly retrieve evidence to inform medical decisions. Internal Medicine (IM) residents receive little formal education in electronic database searching, and have identified poor searching skills as a barrier to practicing EBM. OBJECTIVE: To design and implement a database searching tutorial for IM residents on inpatient rotations and to evaluate its impact on residents' skill and comfort searching MEDLINE and filtered EBM resources. DESIGN: Randomized controlled trial. Residents randomized to the searching tutorial met for up to 6 1-hour small group sessions to search for answers to questions about current hospitalized patients. PARTICIPANTS: Second- and 3rd-year IM residents. MEASUREMENTS: Residents in both groups completed an Objective Structured Searching Evaluation (OSSE), searching for primary evidence to answer 5 clinical questions. OSSE outcomes were the number of successful searches, search times, and techniques utilized. Participants also completed self-assessment surveys measuring frequency and comfort using EBM databases. RESULTS: During the OSSE, residents who participated in the intervention utilized more searching techniques overall (p < .01) and used PubMed's Clinical Queries more often (p < .001) than control residents. Searching "success" and time per completed search did not differ between groups. Compared with controls, intervention residents reported greater comfort using MEDLINE (p < .05) and the Cochrane Library (p < .05) on post-intervention surveys. The groups did not differ in comfort using ACP Journal Club, or in self-reported frequency of use of any databases. CONCLUSIONS: An inpatient EBM searching tutorial improved searching techniques of IM residents and resulted in increased comfort with MEDLINE and the Cochrane Library, but did not impact overall searching success.
Project description:Introduction:Pediatric residents are faced with ethical dilemmas in beginning- and end-of-life situations throughout their training. These situations are innately challenging, yet despite recommendations that residents receive training in ethics and end-of-life domains, they continue to report the need for additional training. To address these concerns, we developed an interactive and reflective palliative care and medical ethics curriculum including sessions focusing on ethical dilemmas at the beginning and end of life. Methods:This module includes a trio of case-based, small-group discussions on artificial nutrition and hydration, futility, and ethical considerations in neonatology. Content was developed based on a needs assessment, input from local experts, and previously published material. Trainees completed assessments of comfort and understanding before and after each session. Results:The module was attended and assessed by an average of 27 trainees per session, including residents and medical students. Knowledge of ethical considerations improved after individual sessions, with 86% of trainees reporting understanding ethical considerations involved in the decision to withdraw or withhold medically provided nutrition and hydration and 67% of trainees reporting understanding the use of the term futility. Trainee comfort in providing counseling or recommendations regarding specific ethical issues demonstrated a trend toward improvement but did not reach statistical significance. Discussion:We successfully implemented this innovative module, which increased trainees' comfort with end-of-life care and ethical conflicts. Future studies should focus on the trainees' ability to implement these skills in clinical practice.
Project description:Introduction:Consistent medical knowledge acquisition while caring for the critically ill can be challenging for learners and educators in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), a unit often distinguished by fluctuating acuity and severity. We implemented a standardized didactic curriculum for PICU residents to facilitate their acquisition and retention of knowledge in core PICU topics. Methods:We developed a comprehensive standardized curriculum for PGY 2-PGY 4 PICU pediatric and internal medicine-pediatric residents. Thirteen core topics were administered as 30-minute didactic sessions during the rotation, using either PowerPoint slides or a dry-erase board. Residents were tested to assess knowledge acquisition and retention. Results:Seventy-eight residents participated, 86% of whom completed posttests. Seventeen percent completed follow-up tests. Of the learners who participated, 60 (77%) completed pretests and posttests, indicating their confidence level each time. The pretest mean was 55% (SD = 14.4%), and the posttest mean was 64% (SD = 15.6%). This 9% increase was statistically significant (p = .001; CI, 3.9% to 14.8%). The follow-up test at 3 months, completed by 15% of this subgroup, demonstrated a mean score of 62% (SD = 14.5%). When matched with posttest scores (mean score of 64%, SD = 13.3%), there was no significant difference (p = .7398; CI, -11.7% to 16.2%), suggesting retention of previously acquired knowledge. Discussion:Our standardized didactic curriculum effectively facilitated the acquisition and retention of the medical knowledge of core PICU topics among PICU residents, in addition to their usual experiential learning.
Project description:IntroductionThe provision of real-time medical direction to emergency medical services (EMS) providers is a core skill for the emergency physician, yet it is one with a wide variability of training received within residency.MethodsWe developed a complete training module for providing online medical control to EMS providers, including two lectures, multiple case-based scenarios for practice via two-way radio, a survey of participants’ self-perceived knowledge and comfort in this area, and a postmodule knowledge test. Participants completed the survey both before and after the module. The module was given during the regularly scheduled didactic conference series. There were 22 participants, some of whom were attendings and medical students.ResultsThe survey responses showed a statistically significant improvement after completion of the module for all questions, including improved self-perceived comfort with providing online medical control. Additionally, all participants passed the postmodule knowledge test with a mean score of 95%.DiscussionThis module was well received and showed significant results in improving the participants’ self-perceived and tested knowledge of EMS as well as their comfort with providing online medical control. The module offers an excellent baseline training experience for use by other residencies or agency medical directors.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Few internal medicine residency programs provide formal ultrasound training. This study sought to assess the feasibility of simulation based ultrasound training among first year internal medicine residents and measure their comfort at effectively using ultrasound to perform invasive procedures before and after this innovative model of ultrasound training. METHODS: A simulation based ultrasound training module was implemented during intern orientation that incorporated didactic and practical experiences in a simulation and cadaver laboratory. Participants completed anonymous pre and post surveys in which they reported their level of confidence in the use of ultrasound technology and their comfort in identifying anatomic structures including: lung, pleural effusion, bowel, peritoneal cavity, ascites, thyroid, and internal jugular vein. Survey items were structured on a 5-point Likert scales (1 = extremely unconfident, 5 = extremely confident). RESULTS: Seventy-five out of seventy-six interns completed the pre-intervention survey and 55 completed the post-survey. The mean confidence score (SD) increased to 4.00 (0.47) (p < 0.0001). The mean (SD) comfort ranged from 3.61 (0.84) for peritoneal cavity to 4.48 (0.62) for internal jugular vein. Confidence in identifying all anatomic structures showed an increase over the pre-intervention means (p < 0.002). CONCLUSION: A simulation based ultrasound learning module can improve the self-reported confidence with which residents identify structures important in performing invasive ultrasound guided procedures. Incorporating an ultrasound module into residents' education may address perceived need for ultrasound training, improve procedural skills, and enhance patient safety.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Internists commonly perform invasive procedures, but serious deficiencies exist in procedure training during residency. OBJECTIVE: Evaluate a comprehensive, inpatient procedure service rotation (MPS) to improve Internal Medicine residents' comfort and self-perceived knowledge in performing lumbar puncture, abdominal paracentesis, thoracentesis, arthrocentesis, and central venous catheterization (CVC). DESIGN: The MPS comprised 1 faculty physician and 1-3 residents rotating for 2 weeks. It incorporated lectures, a textbook, instructional videos, supervised practice on mannequins, and inpatient procedures directly supervised by the faculty physician. We measured MPS impact using pre- and post-MPS rotation surveys, and surveyed all residents at academic year-end. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Thirty-nine categorical Internal Medicine residents completed the required rotation and surveys over the 2004-2005 academic year, performing 325 procedures. Post-MPS, the percentage of residents reporting comfort performing procedures rose 15-36% (p < .05 except for arthrocentesis, and CVC via internal jugular and femoral veins). The fraction desiring more training fell 26-51% (all p < .05). After the MPS rotation, self-rated knowledge increased in all surveyed aspects of the procedures. The year-end survey showed that improvements persisted. Comfort at year-end, for all procedures except abdominal paracentesis, was significantly higher among residents who rotated through the MPS than among those who had not. Self-reported compliance with recommended antiseptic measures was 75% for residents who completed the MPS, and 28% for those who had not (p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: A comprehensive procedure service rotation of 2 weeks duration substantially improved residents' comfort and self-perceived knowledge in performing invasive procedures. These benefits persisted at least to the end of the academic year.