Background: The principles of palliative care were developed in hospices and specialised palliative care units and have not been sufficiently adapted to and evaluated in nursing homes. Therefore, an educational intervention from an interprofessional education perspective was performed within the project Implementation of Knowledge-Based Palliative Care in Nursing Homes. The aim of this study was to evaluate professionals' experience of palliative care delivery before and after the educational intervention.
Methods: The educational intervention for nursing home professionals consisted of five 2-h seminars over 6 months at 20 nursing homes. The intervention and control groups consisted of 129 and 160 professionals from 30 nursing homes respectively. The questionnaire ‘Your experience of palliative care’ was completed 1 month before (baseline) and after (follow-up) the intervention. Descriptive and inferential statistics were calculated.
Results: The positive effects at follow-up concerned the use of a valid scale for grading symptoms, attendance to the needs of next of kin (including bereavement support), documentation of older persons' wishes regarding place to die and conversations about their transition to palliative care and about how they were treated.
Conclusions: This study demonstrates a promising interprofessional educational model. However, the paucity of improvements brought to light at follow-up indicates a need for research directed towards a revision of this model. Supervision of professionals during palliative care delivery is one suggestion for change.
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