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Educational impact of paediatric palliative simulation study days
  1. Kate Renton1,
  2. Hilary Quinton2 and
  3. Anton-Paul Thomas Mayer1,3
  1. 1Sheffield Children's Hospital, Western Bank, Sheffield, UK
  2. 2Department of Oncology, Sheffield Children's Hospital, UK
  3. 3Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice, Sheffield, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kate Renton, Sheffield Children's Hospital, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TH, UK; katerylance{at}doctors.org.uk

Abstract

Background The use of simulation-based medical/nursing teaching is increasingly widespread. Simulation-based teaching offers an immersive learning experience where professionals can practice communication and practical skills in a safe, authentic environment. We designed a paediatric palliative simulation study day primarily aimed at nursing staff who manage these patients in the community/hospice. We believe this is the first of its kind in the UK.

Aims To establish whether attendance at a paediatric palliative simulation study day improved confidence and knowledge in management of common and/or difficult situations in palliative care.

Method Health professionals working at local paediatric hospices or in associated specialties to palliative care were invited to attend the free 1-day course. 5 scenarios were developed by experienced health professionals working in paediatric palliative care. On the day, participants were asked to complete a questionnaire to check basic demographic data, confidence levels and knowledge (50 true/false questions). Following participation/observation of 5 scenarios, they again completed the same questionnaire regarding confidence levels and knowledge. Results were analysed with Excel and XLStat using basic demographic data and Wilcoxon signed rank two-tailed test.

Results 57 healthcare workers participated in 5 study days. 81% (n=47) professionals described themselves as working primarily in palliative care. Only 35% (n=20) had previously experienced simulation. Based on confidence questions, attendees felt more confident in managing specific palliative scenarios (p<0.0001). Based on true/false questions prestudy and poststudy day, 86% (n=49) of participants improved their knowledge. The median improvement score for the cohort was 3 (p<0.0001).

Conclusions The study demonstrated a significant improvement in confidence and knowledge following the simulation course. This supports further time/financial investment in developing this type of study day. Simulation is a useful teaching adjunct in paediatric palliative care. The course also provides a valuable opportunity for professionals to network and discuss/share experiences.

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  • Received 5 March 2015.
  • Revision received 10 August 2015.
  • Accepted 28 May 2016.
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Footnotes

  • Contributors KR is the main author and responsible for submission. She was involved in scenario design, questionnaire design, teaching on some of the days, compiling results, reviewing results and writing the article. HQ was responsible for the initial planning concept and involved in scenario design, and teaching on some of the days. A-PTM was responsible for the initial planning concept and involved in scenario design, questionnaire design, teaching on all the days, review of results and review of article.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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