Enhancing Care of Aged and Dying Prisoners: Is e-Learning a Feasible Approach?

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BackgroundPrisons and jails are facing sharply increased demands in caring for aged and dying inmates. Our Toolkit for Enhancing End-of-life Care in Prisons effectively addressed end-of-life (EOL) care; however, geriatric content was limited, and the product was not formatted for broad dissemination. Prior research adapted best practices in EOL care and aging; but, delivery methods lacked emerging technology-focused learning and interactivity.PurposesOur purposes were to uncover current training approaches and preferences and to ascertain the technological capacity of correctional settings to deliver computer-based and other e-learning training.MethodsAn environmental scan was conducted with 11 participants from U.S. prisons and jails to ensure proper fit, in terms of content and technology capacity, between an envisioned computer-based training product and correctional settings.ResultsEnvironmental scan findings focused on content of training, desirable qualities of training, prominence of “homegrown” products, and feasibility of commercial e-learning.Conclusions/ImplicationsThis study identified qualities of training programs to adopt and pitfalls to avoid and revealed technology-related issues to be mindful of when designing computer-based training for correctional settings, and participants spontaneously expressed an interest in geriatrics and EOL training using this learning modality as long as training allowed for tailoring of materials.

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