Evaluation of Physician and Nurse Dyad Training Procedures to Deliver a Palliative and End-of-Life Communication Intervention to Parents of Children with a Brain Tumor

Verna L. Hendricks-Ferguson, Javier R. Kane, Kamnesh R. Pradhan, Chie Schin Shih, Karen M. Gauvain, Justin N. Baker, Joan E. Haase

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

When a child’s prognosis is poor, physicians and nurses (MDs/RNs) often struggle with initiating discussions about palliative and end-of-life care (PC/EOL) early in the course of illness trajectory. We describe evaluation of training procedures used to prepare MD/RN dyads to deliver an intervention entitled: Communication Plan: Early Through End of Life (COMPLETE) intervention. Our training was delivered to 5 pediatric neuro-oncologists and 8 pediatric nurses by a team of expert consultants (i.e., in medical ethics, communication, and PC/EOL) and parent advisors. Although half of the group received training in a 1-day program and half in a 2-day program, content for all participants included 4 modules: family assessment, goal-directed treatment planning, anticipatory guidance, and staff communication and follow-up. Evaluations included dichotomous ratings and qualitative comments on content, reflection, and skills practice for each module. Positive aspects of our training included parent advisers’ insights, emphasis on hope and non-abandonment messages, written materials to facilitate PC/EOL communication, and an MD/RN dyad approach. Lessons learned and challenges related to our training procedures will be described. Overall, the MDs and RNs reported that our PC/EOL communication-training procedures were helpful and useful. Future investigators should carefully plan training procedures for PC/EOL communication interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-347
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing
Volume32
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 12 2015

Keywords

  • end-of-life care
  • palliative and end-of-life communication training
  • palliative care
  • parents of children with a brain tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology(nursing)
  • Pediatrics

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