Palliative Care Educational Interventions for Prelicensure Health-Care Students: An Integrative Review

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Abstract

To provide adequate care, students from all health-care professions require education regarding palliative and end-of-life (EOL) care prior to entering professional practice. In particular, students need proper training to be equal members of interprofessional teams providing palliative and EOL care. However, limited information is currently available about the effectiveness of educational interventions relating to palliative and EOL care. Thus, an assessment of educational interventions to utilize in providing this education is warranted. The purpose of this integrative review was to critically evaluate the impact of palliative or EOL care interventional studies on learning outcomes for prelicensure health-care students. Articles published from 2001 to present that utilizied palliative or EOL care educational interventions for prelicensure students from any health-care profession and also evaluated preidentified learning outcomes were included in the review. The final sample comprised 34 articles. Four studies utilized interprofessional interventions, whereas the remaining taught students from a single profession. Trends in sample sizes, teaching interventions, learning outcomes, and outcome measures are discussed. Teaching interventions reviewed were primarily focused on student learning outcomes specific to knowledge and attitudes. Future studies should implement interprofessional educational interventions, utilize reliable and valid outcome measures, and evaluate their impact on different learning outcomes, such as self-efficacy, comfort, and communication.

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