How effective is undergraduate palliative care teaching for medical students? A systematic literature review.
ABSTRACT: Palliative care is central to the role of all clinical doctors. There is variability in the amount and type of teaching about palliative care at undergraduate level. Time allocated for such teaching within the undergraduate medical curricula remains scarce. Given this, the effectiveness of palliative care teaching needs to be known. OBJECTIVES:To evaluate the effectiveness of palliative care teaching for undergraduate medical students. DESIGN:A systematic review was prepared according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidance. Screening, data extraction and quality assessment (mixed methods and Cochrane risk of bias tool) were performed in duplicate. DATA SOURCES:Embase, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, Web of Science, ClinicalTrials.gov, Cochrane and grey literature in August 2019. Studies evaluating palliative care teaching interventions with medical students were included. RESULTS:1446 titles/abstracts and 122 full-text articles were screened. 19 studies were included with 3253 participants. 17 of the varied methods palliative care teaching interventions improved knowledge outcomes. The effect of teaching on clinical practice and patient outcomes was not evaluated in any study. CONCLUSIONS:The majority of palliative care teaching interventions reviewed improved knowledge of medical students. The studies did not show one type of teaching method to be better than others, and thus no 'best way' to provide teaching about palliative care was identified. High quality, comparative research is needed to further understand effectiveness of palliative care teaching on patient care/clinical practice/outcomes in the short-term and longer-term. PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER:CRD42018115257.
Project description:As nearly all doctors deal with patients requiring palliative care, it is imperative that palliative care education starts early. This study aimed to validate a national, palliative care competency framework for undergraduate medical curricula. We conducted a Delphi study with five groups of stakeholders (palliative care experts, physicians, nurses, curriculum coordinators, and junior doctors), inviting them to rate a competency list. The list was organized around six key competencies. For each competency, participants indicated the level to which students should have mastered the skill at the end of undergraduate training. Stability was reached after two rating rounds (N = 82 round 1, N = 54 round 2). The results showed high levels of agreement within and between stakeholder groups. Participants agreed that theoretical knowledge is not enough: Students must practice palliative care competencies, albeit to varying degrees. Overall, communication and personal development and well-being scored the highest: Junior doctors should be able to perform these in the workplace under close supervision. Advance care planning scored the lowest, indicating performance in a simulated setting. A wide range of stakeholders validated a palliative care competency framework for undergraduate medical curricula. This framework can be used to guide teaching about palliative care.
Project description:By means of the revision of the Medical Licensure Act for Physicians (ÄAppO) in 2009, undergraduate palliative care education (UPCE) was incorporated as a mandatory cross sectional examination subject (QB13) in medical education in Germany. Its implementation still constitutes a major challenge for German medical faculties. There is a discrepancy between limited university resources and limited patient availabilities and high numbers of medical students. Apart from teaching theoretical knowledge and skills, palliative care education is faced with the particular challenge of imparting a professional and adequate attitude towards incurably ill and dying patients and their relatives.Against this background, an evidence-based longitudinal UPCE curriculum was systematically developed following Kern's Cycle  and partly implemented and evaluated by the students participating in the pilot project. Innovative teaching methods (virtual standardised/simulated patient contacts, e-learning courses, interdisciplinary and interprofessional collaborative teaching, and group sessions for reflective self-development) aim at teaching palliative care-related core competencies within the clinical context and on an interdisciplinary and interprofessional basis.After almost five years of development and evaluation, the UPCE curriculum comprises 60 teaching units and is being fully implemented and taught for the first time in the winter semester 2014/15. The previous pilot phases were successfully concluded. To date, the pilot phases (n=26), the subproject "E-learning in palliative care" (n=518) and the blended-learning elective course "Communication with dying patients" (n=12) have been successfully evaluated.All conducted development steps and all developed programmes are available for other palliative care educators (Open Access). The integrated teaching formats and methods (video, e-learning module, interprofessional education, group sessions for reflexive self-development) and their evaluations are intended to make a contribution to an evidence-based development of palliative care curricula in Germany.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Increasing the attractiveness of primary care careers is a key step in addressing the growing shortage of primary care physicians. The purpose of this review was to (1) identify interventions aimed at increasing the proportion of undergraduate medical students choosing a primary care specialty, (2) describe the characteristics of these interventions, (3) assess the quality of the studies, and (4) compare the findings to those of a previous literature review within a global context.<h4>Methods</h4>We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, ERIC, CINAHL, PsycINFO, The Cochrane Library, and Dissertations & Theses A&I for articles published between 1993 and February 20, 2015. We included quantitative and qualitative studies reporting on primary care specialty choice outcomes of interventions in the undergraduate medical curriculum, without geographic restrictions. Data extracted included study characteristics, intervention details, and relevant outcomes. Studies were assessed for quality and strength of findings using a five-point scale.<h4>Results</h4>The review included 72 articles reporting on 66 different interventions. Longitudinal programs were the only intervention consistently associated with an increased proportion of students choosing primary care. Successful interventions were characterized by diverse teaching formats, student selection, and good-quality teaching. Study quality had not improved since recommendations were published in 1995. Many studies used cross-sectional designs and non-validated surveys, did not include control groups, and were not based on a theory or conceptual framework.<h4>Discussion</h4>Our review supports the value of longitudinal, multifaceted, primary care programs to increase the proportion of students choosing primary care specialties. Isolated modules or clerkships did not appear to be effective. Our results are in line with the conclusions from previous reviews and add an international perspective, but the evidence is limited by the overall low methodological quality of the included studies. Future research should use more rigorous evaluation methods and include long-term outcomes.
Project description:Introduction:Despite the prevalence of pain in patients with serious illness, recent guidelines for opioid prescribing practices have largely excluded palliative care patients. In lieu of such guidelines, many have recommended adapting risk mitigation strategies from the chronic pain arena for palliative care and oncology populations. Teaching interventions are needed to demonstrate how these methods can be applied to patients with serious illness. Methods:We developed a teaching intervention for fourth-year medical students to improve knowledge about safe opioid prescribing practices in palliative care patients and emphasized both effective and safe pain management. A secondary aim of the intervention was to demonstrate how a palliative care interdisciplinary team works together to care for a complex patient near the end of life. The intervention lasted 1 hour and consisted of an interdisciplinary case presentation as well as a slide presentation. Results:Twenty-two medical students attended the session over 2 years. After the intervention, medical students better understood risk mitigation strategies and felt more strongly that opioids can be a useful tool in treating pain for patients with serious illness. Students' familiarity with palliative care interdisciplinary roles also improved after the intervention. Discussion:This session was a useful part of a palliative care 2-week classroom elective and was well received by students. The development of a survey tool that assesses student attitudes around effective and safe pain management in patients with serious illness may be of use to others who teach pain management in palliative care populations.
Project description:Objectives:This study surveys medical education literature published over the last 25 years (1993-2018) to identify the factors scholars consider deleterious to outpatient teaching for medical students. Methods:This study conducts a review of medical education literature published between 1993 and 2018 using Medline, Lilacs, Ibecs, Cochrane Library, and Scielo databases. The following search terms were utilized: "Education, Medical, Undergraduate" AND "Ambulatory Care" AND "Teaching/methods" OR "Clinical Clerkship" OR "Preceptorship." This study focuses on papers describing deleterious factors for outpatient teaching with medical students and analyzes their results, discussions, and conclusions sections. Results:Of the 363 articles obtained, this study selected 33 for analysis. These papers identify numerous factors as barriers to outpatient education. For didactic purposes, these factors are categorized into four barrier groups: environment-institution, academic staff, students, and patients. Academic staff-related teaching barrier was the most frequently mentioned obstacle. Intense care schedule with little teaching time was considered the most common and relevant barrier to outpatient medical education, followed by inappropriate teaching environment and inadequate supervision model. Conclusions:There is a lack of recent literature on studies focusing on barriers to effective outpatient medical education. Factors identified as harmful to outpatient education have been pointed out by course directors, academic staff, and students in the literature. However, many of these factors remain overlooked by educators, who can use these factors to modify their academic activities for more effective results.
Project description:In Brazil there are several challenges to reach a humanized health care. Among them is the well-known lack in academic education and training in palliative care field. This lack is mostly due to the modern medical care culture that prioritize curative medicine ahead of palliative care. As the goal of saving lives is rooted in medical training, death is still confronted as the main enemy of the health professionals.To analyze the knowledge of palliative care among the physical therapists of a University Hospital.This is a cross-sectional and descriptive study. The volunteers were physical therapists, who had worked in the hospital for more than six months, were included undergraduate students, experienced professionals and graduate students. A questionnaire with closed questions about palliative care was applied during the volunteers working hours. Data were analyzed descriptively.We conclude that, the vast majority of the evaluated professionals presented basic palliative care knowledge, but not in palliative care core components. The palliative care practice seemed often guided by the knowledge acquired in other fields, always with an intuitive character. Therefore, we detected a lack in the physical therapist training regarding palliative care. Summarily, physical therapists should receive a general training in palliative care still as an undergraduate, for a more effective and consistent professional practice later on.
Project description:Health care is increasingly provided in general practice. To meet this demand, the English Department of Health recommends that 50% of all medical students should train for general practice after qualification. Currently 19% of medical students express general practice as their first career choice. Undergraduate exposure to general practice positively influences future career choice. Appropriate undergraduate exposure to general practice is therefore highly relevant to workforce planningThis study seeks to quantify current exposure of medical students to general practice and compare it with past provision and also with postgraduate provision.A cross-sectional questionnaire in the UK.A questionnaire regarding provision of undergraduate teaching was sent to the general practice teaching leads in all UK medical schools. Information was gathered on the amount of undergraduate teaching, how this was supported financially, and whether there was an integrated department of general practice. The data were then compared with results from previous studies of teaching provision. The provision of postgraduate teaching in general practice was also examined.General practice teaching for medical students increased from <1.0% of clinical teaching in 1968 to 13.0% by 2008; since then, the percentage has plateaued. The total amount of general practice teaching per student has fallen by 2 weeks since 2002. Medical schools providing financial data delivered 14.6% of the clinical curriculum and received 7.1% of clinical teaching funding. The number of departments of general practice has halved since 2002. Provision of postgraduate teaching has tripled since 2000.Current levels of undergraduate teaching in general practice are too low to fulfil future workforce requirements and may be falling. Financial support for current teaching is disproportionately low and the mechanism counterproductive. Central intervention may be required to solve this.
Project description:Teaching methods need continuous innovation to encourage undergraduate medical students to enhance their competency level and skills. Every undergraduate medical student should be able to discuss the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program (RNTCP) and Direct Observed Treatment Short (DOTS) course recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). The DOTS strategy was launched in 1992, with the objective of detecting at least 70% of new sputum-positive tuberculosis (TB) patients and curing at least 85% of such patients. The aim of this study was to improve the competency level of Undergraduate (UG) Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) students by teaching them the objectives of the RNTCP at a program implementation site in the medical college. The RNTCP could be considered and conducted as Program-Based Teaching and Learning (PBTL) for the UG medical students. The following skills were to be implemented in the RNTCP PBTL: Sputum Collection, Ziehl-Neelsen staining and Grading, Mantoux test, and TB Culture and Molecular test (Gene Xpert). Phase II undergraduate MBBS students (N = 104) participated in the PBTL. This study was conducted in the RNTCP laboratory of a tertiary-care teaching medical college hospital. This descriptive study included advanced skill-based teaching such as Directly Observed Practical Skill, Demonstration-Observation-Assistance-Performance, Video Demonstrations, Role Play, and Group interaction as teaching tools. Pre-/post-test, Objective Structured Practical Examination, and frequently asked questions were used as assessment tools. The pre- and post-test marks were compared, and other assessments were also analyzed using SPSS. At the end of the teaching program, the feedback forms were collected from students and analyzed. The mean score obtained for 104 MBBS students in the pre-test, post-test, and other assessment tools were 213.3 and 487.5, respectively (p < 0.001). We conclude that skill-based teaching and learning tools to teach public health program like RNTCP provide valuable essential skills for undergraduate medical students. This Program Based Teaching and Learning could be successfully extended to all medical colleges.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To determine the cost-effectiveness of Gynaecology Teaching Associate (GTA) teaching versus conventional pelvic model (manikin) teaching of pelvic examination skills for final year medical students within a UK undergraduate obstetrics and gynaecology (O&G) curriculum. METHODS:An economic evaluation was carried out alongside a randomised controlled trial involving 492 final year medical students. 240 students received manikin teaching, and 241 GTA-led teaching. 418 (85%) students completed their assessment. Proficiency in gynaecological pelvic examination on GTAs was estimated by a senior clinical examiner, blinded to the method of teaching, using a standardised assessment tool. University of Birmingham Medical School thresholds were applied to determine proficiency levels; competence (pass) 50%, merit 60% and distinction 70%. Costs incurred in the delivery of both the educational pathways (control and intervention) were combined. All costs are reported in 2013-2014 prices and earlier costs adjusted using inflation indices. OUTCOME MEASURES:Cost per student competent in pelvic examination at completion of a 5-week clinical O&G placement. RESULTS:GTA teaching was more effective compared with conventional teaching with 12 more students considered competent at pass level and 28 more students competent at merit and distinction levels, respectively. However, the average cost of GTA teaching was £45.06 per student compared with £7.40 per student for conventional teaching, with an increased cost of £37.66 per student. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio demonstrated that it cost an additional £640.20 per competent student and £274.37 per student competent at merit level and £274.37 at distinction level compared with conventional manikin-based teaching. CONCLUSIONS:GTA teaching of female pelvic examination at the start of undergraduate medical student O&G clinical placements is shown to cost more and be more effective. GTA teaching is likely to be considered cost-effective in the context of other tests, and over the lifespan of a competent doctor's career. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER:NCT01944592.
Project description:Given the shortage of palliative care specialists in the United States, to ensure quality of care for patients with serious, life-threatening illness, generalist-level palliative care competencies need to be defined and taught. The purpose of this study was to define essential competencies for medical students and internal medicine and family medicine (IM/FM) residents through a national survey of palliative care experts.Proposed competencies were derived from existing hospice and palliative medicine fellowship competencies and revised to be developmentally appropriate for students and residents. In spring 2012, the authors administered a Web-based, national cross-sectional survey of palliative care educational experts to assess ratings and rankings of proposed competencies and competency domains.The authors identified 18 comprehensive palliative care competencies for medical students and IM/FM residents, respectively. Over 95% of survey respondents judged the competencies as comprehensive and developmentally appropriate (survey response rate = 72%, 71/98). Using predefined cutoff criteria, experts identified 7 medical student and 13 IM/FM resident competencies as essential. Communication and pain/symptom management were rated as the most critical domains.This national survey of palliative care experts defines comprehensive and essential palliative care competencies for medical students and IM/FM residents that are specific, measurable, and can be used to report educational outcomes; provide a sequence for palliative care curricula in undergraduate and graduate medical education; and highlight the importance of educating medical trainees in communication and pain management. Next steps include seeking input and endorsement from stakeholders in the broader medical education community.