PURPOSE: To describe educational features in palliative and end-of-life care (PEOLC) in pulmonary/critical care fellowships and identify the features associated with perceptions of trainee competence in PEOLC.
METHODS: A survey of educational features in 102 training programs and the perceived skill and comfort level of trainees in 6 PEOLC domains: communication, symptom control, ethical/legal, community/institutional resources, specific syndromes, and ventilator withdrawal. We evaluated associations between perceived trainee competence/comfort in PEOLC and training program features, using regression analyses.
RESULTS: Fifty-five percent of program directors (PDs) reported faculty with training in PEOLC; 30% had a written PEOLC curriculum. Neither feature was associated with trainee competence/comfort. Program directors and trainees rated bedside PEOLC teaching highly. Only 20% offered PEOLC rotations; most trainees judged these valuable. Most PDs and trainees reported that didactic teaching was insufficient in communication, although sufficient teaching of this was associated with perceived trainee competence in communication. Perceived trainee competence in managing institutional resources was rated poorly. Program directors reporting significant barriers to PEOLC education also judged trainees less competent in PEOLC. Time constraint was the greatest barrier.
CONCLUSION: This survey of PEOLC education in US pulmonary/critical care fellowships identified associations between certain program features and perceived trainee skill in PEOLC. These results generate hypotheses for further study.
Published In/Presented At
Richman PS, Saft HL, Messina CR, Berman AR, Selecky PA, Mularski RA, Ray DE, Ford DW. Palliative and end-of-life educational practices in US pulmonary and critical care training programs. J Crit Care. 2016 Feb;31(1):172-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jcrc.2015.09.029. Epub 2015 Oct 5.
Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Medicine