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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 284-288

Surgical residents and palliative care, hospice care, advance care planning, and end-of-life ethics: An analysis of baseline knowledge and educational session to improve competence

1 Northeast Ohio Medical University, College of Graduate Studies, Rootstown, Ohio, USA
2 Department of Family and Community Medicine, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Rootstown, Ohio, USA
3 Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, The Medical Center of Aurora and Rose Hospital, Aurora, Colorado, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mark Dalvin
6618 Covington Cove, Canfield, Ohio 44406
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJAM.IJAM_22_18

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Introduction: The American Board of Surgery expects competence in interdisciplinary palliative care, and dealing with advancing chronic conditions and end-of-life scenarios are part of Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education general surgery milestones. Despite established standards, surgical trainees receive limited amounts of formal palliative care training, if any. Objective: The study purpose was to evaluate baseline knowledge and test effectiveness of an educational session for surgical residents focused on palliative care, hospice care, advance care planning (ACP), and related topics. Methods: The study was completed at Northeast Ohio Medical University with participation from general surgery residents, students, and faculty at Northside Regional Medical Center in Youngstown, Ohio. Participation involved a pretest, lecture, and posttest surrounding palliative and hospice care, ACP, and related topics to teach and assess baseline knowledge and usefulness of an educational session based on test comparison. Mean group scores for pre/post-tests were calculated. A paired one-tailed t-test was used to assess effective change in mean scores. Results: Twenty participants completed the session. The mean pretest score for the group was 60%. The mean posttest score for the group was 75%. Results show that, after the 30-min presentation, there was statistically significant improvement between means (P = 0.00002). Conclusions: Palliative care, hospice care, and ACP are not utilized to potential due to poor residency education as indicated by low mean pretest score. Statistically significant improvement between tests indicates that education focused on these topics can remedy the knowledge gap and presumably improve patient care involving these topics. The following core competencies are addressed in this article: Practice-based learning and improvement, Interpersonal and communication skills, Professionalism.

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