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Evaluating the impact of national education in pediatric palliative care: the Quality of Care Collaborative Australia

Authors Slater PJ, Herbert AR, Baggio SJ, Donovan LA, McLarty AM, Duffield JA, Pedersen LC, Duc JK, Delaney AM, Johnson SA, Heywood MG, Burr CA

Received 17 July 2018

Accepted for publication 26 October 2018

Published 14 December 2018 Volume 2018:9 Pages 927—941

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/AMEP.S180526

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Anwarul Azim Majumder


Penelope J Slater,1 Anthony R Herbert,2,3 Sarah J Baggio,2 Leigh A Donovan,2 Alison M McLarty,2 Julie A Duffield,4 Lee-anne C Pedersen,2,3 Jacqueline K Duc,2 Angela M Delaney,2 Susan A Johnson,2 Melissa G Heywood,5 Charlotte A Burr6

On behalf of Quality of Care Collaborative Australia

1Oncology Services Group, Queensland Children’s Hospital, Children’s Health Queensland, South Brisbane, QLD, Australia; 2Paediatric Palliative Care Service, Queensland Children’s Hospital, Children’s Health Queensland, QLD, Australia; 3Centre for Children’s Health Research at Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, QLD, Australia; 4Paediatric Palliative Care Service, Women’s and Children’s Health Network, Adelaide, SA, Australia; 5Victorian Paediatric Palliative Care Program, The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, VIC, Australia; 6Western Australia Paediatric Palliative Care Service, Perth Children’s Hospital, Perth, WA, Australia

Purpose: The Quality of Care Collaborative Australia (QuoCCA) provided pediatric palliative care education across Australia with the aim of improving the quality of services. The education was delivered through a collaboration of six tertiary pediatric palliative care services, through funding for Nurse Educators, Medical Fellows, a National Allied Health Educator, and national project staff.
Methods: Pre- and post-education surveys were completed by participants immediately following the education, and confidence and knowledge were measured along nine domains related to the care of the child and family, including managing a new referral, symptom management, medications, preparing the family, and using local agencies.
Results: Education was provided to over 5,500 health and human service professionals in 337 education sessions across Australia between May 2015 and June 2017. Paired pre- and postsurveys were completed by 969 participants and showed a significant improvement in all the domains measured. Those with no experience in caring for children receiving palliative care showed greater improvement following QuoCCA education compared to those with experience, although the latter had higher scores both before and after education. Similarly, those with no previous education showed greater improvement, but those with previous education showed higher scores overall. Participants in full-day and half-day sessions showed greater improvement than those in short day sessions. Thus, the dosage of education in the length of the sessions and prior attendance impacted knowledge and confidence. Topics requested by the participants were analyzed. Educator learnings were that education was more effective when tailored to the needs of the audience, was interactive, and included story-telling, case studies, and parent experiences.
Conclusion: These results encouraged the continuation of the provision of education to novice and experienced professionals who care for children with a life-limiting condition, leading to higher levels of confidence and knowledge. The learnings from this evaluation will be transferred into the second round of funding for the national QuoCCA education project. The next stage will focus on developing simulation and interactive training, accessible training modules, and videos on a national website.

Keywords: training, evaluation, health care, education dosage, confidence

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