Category: Palliative Care
Objective: We aim to improve neuropalliative education in neurology trainees by creating a reproducible didactic curriculum targeting specific communication techniques using case-based sensitive scenarios commonly encountered in neurology. To inform this we are completing a review of the current literature and incorporating a needs-based assessment survey.
Background: Communication surrounding key palliative topics is essential for holistic care of persons living with neurologic illness. Skilled, empathetic communication is critical to the quality of their care. Despite this increasing need, there remains a lack of reproducible neurology trainee-facing curriculum or resources regarding palliative communication techniques. Prior to initiating curriculum development we wanted to review the current literature and conduct a needs assessment.
Method: We conducted a review of recent literature using keywords; “Palliative care”, “neurology”, “communication”, “training”, “courses” and “education.” Both OVID and Pubmed medline searches were completed. Abstracts for all articles in English were reviewed for relevance with appropriate articles included. We used the information obtained to develop a needs-based assessment survey that we will send out to American neurology residents and fellows.
Results: We ultimately found 34 relevant articles after abstract review of an original search yielding 207 articles. Surveys found as part of this review indicate that neurology residents and fellows are interested in receiving more education on communication. Several themes emerged, including lack of adequate communication skills leading to reported stress in doctors and higher reported burnout in clinicians who perceived insufficient training in communication. Despite ACGME requirements for palliative communication skills as a core competency in neurology, this literature review also shows that there are few programs or universally accepted standards for education on this topic within the field of neurology.
Conclusion: There is both a growing need and an interest to develop a more structured approach to communication training for neurology trainees as indicated by our literature review. We will also plan to present the data of our needs assessment at the time of the poster presentation.
References: 1. Kazazian K, Chum M, Gofton TE. Trainee Distress When Faced with End-of-Life Care in Neurology: A Qualitative Analysis. Can J Neurol Sci. 2022 Jan 3:1-6. doi: 10.1017/cjn.2021.511. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34974846.
2. Mehta AK, Najjar S, May N, Shah B, Blackhall L. A Needs Assessment of Palliative Care Education among the United States Adult Neurology Residency Programs. J Palliat Med. 2018 Oct;21(10):1448-1457. doi: 10.1089/jpm.2018.0191. Epub 2018 Aug 8. PMID: 30088969.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:K. Block, A. Hiller, N. Leavell, S. Sorge. Neuropalliative communication curriculum: A review of the literature and needs assessment [abstract]. Mov Disord. 2023; 38 (suppl 1). https://www.mdsabstracts.org/abstract/neuropalliative-communication-curriculum-a-review-of-the-literature-and-needs-assessment/. Accessed September 27, 2023.
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