J Pain Symptom Manage. 2021 Jun 16:S0885-3924(21)00383-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2021.06.007. Online ahead of print.
CONTEXT: The majority of people in need of palliative care (PC) in low- and middle-income countries lack access to it and suffer unnecessarily as a consequence. This unmet need is due, in part, to the lack of trained PC providers.
OBJECTIVES: This study aims to assess the effects of regional training in PC for doctors, nurses, and pharmacists in the Caribbean through assessment of participant satisfaction, anticipated course impact on participants’ clinical practice, barriers to changing practice, and perceived course impact on achievement of key PC milestones.
METHODS: We created and taught a course in basic PC for clinicians from the Caribbean region and collected and analyzed post-course quantitative and qualitative data on satisfaction and expected impact.
RESULTS: Eighty-three clinicians from 5 Caribbean countries participated in this workshop. Thirty participants completed the post-course survey. One hundred percent of these participants ranked the quality of the course as “very high quality” or “high quality.” The majority of participants anticipated changing their practice as a result of this course. Several barriers were reported, including lack of formal PC training in participants’ home countries. Results of participants’ retrospective pre- and post-course self-assessment for achievement of key PC milestones showed a statistically significant mean increase of at least 1 point on the 7-point Likert scale for each milestone.
CONCLUSION: Overall satisfaction with the course was high, and self-assessed competency in PC improved. These data suggest that an intensive training over several days is an effective format for increasing providers’ perceived efficacy in delivering PC.