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.
- end-of-life care
- palliative and end-of-life communication training
- palliative care
- parents of children with a brain tumor
ASJC Scopus subject areas