Palliative care professional education via video conference builds confidence to deliver palliative care in rural and remote locations

Ray, Robin A., Fried, Ofra, and Lindsay, Daniel (2014) Palliative care professional education via video conference builds confidence to deliver palliative care in rural and remote locations. BMC Health Services Research, 14. 272. pp. 1-8.

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Abstract

Background: People living in rural and remote locations are disadvantaged in accessing palliative care. This can be attributed to several factors including the role diversity and the low numbers of patients with specific conditions, as well as the difficulties rural health practitioners have in accessing opportunities for professional education. A program of multidisciplinary palliative care video conferences was presented to health practitioners across part of northern Australia in an effort to address this problem.

Method: The educational content of the video conferences was developed from participant responses to an educational needs assessment. Following cycles of four consecutive video conferences, 101 participants completed evaluative on-line surveys. The quantitative data were analysed using frequencies and analysis of variance tests with post-hoc analyses where appropriate, and an accessibility and remoteness index was used to classify their practice location.

Results: All participants found the content useful regardless of their remoteness from the tertiary centre, their years of experience caring for palliative care patients or the number of patients cared for each year. However, change in confidence to provide palliative care as a result of attending the video conferences was significant across all disciplines, regardless of location. Doctors, medical students and allied health professionals indicated the greatest change in confidence.

Conclusions: The provision of professional education about palliative care issues via multidisciplinary video conferencing increased confidence among rural health practitioners, by meeting their identified need for topic and context specific education. This technology also enhanced the networking opportunities between practitioners, providing an avenue of ongoing professional support necessary for maintaining the health workforce in rural and remote areas. However, more attention should be directed to the diverse educational needs of allied health professionals.

Item ID: 34069
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1472-6963
Keywords: rural workforce, palliative care, education, video conferencing, capacity, confidence
Additional Information:

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2014 07:02
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1199 Other Medical and Health Sciences > 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920211 Palliative Care @ 100%
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