Friday, 23 May 2008

Content and effects of palliative care courses for nurses

The content and effects of palliative care courses for nurses: a literature review.
International journal of nursing studies, Mar 2008 (epub: 16 May 2007), vol. 45, no. 3, p. 471-85, 69 refs
Adriaansen-Marian, van-Achterberg-Theo
OBJECTIVES: The present literature review describes the literature (1990-2005) that concerns the effects of courses in palliative care at the pre- and postgraduate levels. DATA SOURCES: A search was made for literature from the period between 1990 and 2005 using CINAHL, Pubmed and Psychlit, supplemented with a search for relevant systematic reviews from the Cochrane Library. DESIGN: The research questions were directed on the areas of expertise and skills, the didactical methods, the effects of the courses and the standards to measure these effects. RESULTS: The studies were all focused on general palliative care. Out of 27 studies 21 reported positive effects for communication, attitude, empathy and pain. Six of these 21 positive trails were studies with good quality designs, whereas 15 had moderate designs. The six studies with a lack of effects was one study with good quality and five studies with moderate quality designs. The effects on patients were described in only a few cases. There was still frequent use of self-constructed rating scales, where data about validity and reliability were lacking or where these aspects were not studied. CONCLUSIONS: The most successful were integrated courses focused on several themes with a variety of didactical methods.

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