Background Advance Care Planning (ACP) was introduced as part of patient care in the acute hospitals in Singapore in 2010. However, healthcare professionals (HCPs) frequently cite the lack of time as a barrier to initiate ACP conversations with their patients. Hence, an ACP advocate training programme was developed to equip HCPs to introduce ACP to patients and refer suitable patients to an ACP facilitator to follow through with the discussion.
Aim This paper describes the development of two advocate training programmes in two acute hospitals in Singapore.
Methods Advocate training aims to develop participants’ self-awareness about ACP, and equip them with relevant theoretical knowledge and communication skills to introduce ACP to patients. It includes pre-course readings and assignments, dialectic lectures, case discussions and simulation exercises.
Results A total of 21 advocate training workshops were conducted for 479 participants between February and December 2014. The class size for each workshop ranges between 25 and 30. Most of the participants were nurses.
Discussion Findings from the post course surveys and debrief sessions with course facilitators helped to refine training material and modalities. A video recording of a live-training session was reviewed by a team of trainers to critically evaluate the course content and structure. Challenges in developing and implementing the advocate training will also be discussed.
Conclusion A multi-pronged approach is required to critically appraise and develop the ACP advocate training programme. Further research can be done to assess the efficacy of the training to increase ACP discussions by HCPs who are trained as advocates.
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