48 Junior doctors and dnd of life care: a systematic review and narrative synthesis

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Nearly 50% of all deaths in the UK occur in hospitals.1 The majority of these patients die in a generalist setting2 where their medical care is predominately provided by junior doctors. There is a growing recognition of a need to embed palliative care into doctors’ training.3


Little evidence exists, however, concerning junior doctors’ current experiences of palliative care.


To review the empirical literature between 2000 and 2018 concerning junior doctors experience of and preparation for palliative and end of life care.


Systematic review and narrative synthesis of qualitative and quantitative studies within six databases to find empirical studies on junior doctors experience of adult palliative care in inpatient hospital or hospice settings.


From the initial 6308 titles identified, 32 studies met the inclusion criteria with a further five identified from reference searching.


Three key themes were identified:


Junior doctors need further support, education and preparation for their exposure to palliative care. Experiential learning, reflective practice and role modelling are described as the most effective ways to learn palliative care and this also teaches them other transferrable skills such as communication, teamwork and professionalism that are vital for their future careers.

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