Background How to utilise tools from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) ‘first-aid’ in practice was taught to staff in palliative care settings. This training impacted on their knowledge and confidence when working with distress. Recent studies by Mannix et al. (2006); Anderson (2008); and Moorey et al. (2009) found that palliative care clinicians can benefit from, and effectively use the knowledge, gained from short training courses in CBT.
Aim This three-day St Christopher’s, City and Guilds accredited foundation level course was delivered across two hospice sites with a total of 65 staff attending. The staff who attended represented a mix of professions, mainly experienced nursing staff but also occupational therapists, social workers, physiotherapists and counsellors. A 25 question self-reported questionnaire was developed to evaluate changes in staff confidence, knowledge, skill and practical application of psychological support and foundation level CBT. The questionnaires were completed pre- and post- the three- day course by all those attending and again at six months for one cohort.
Results The authors used the Wilcoxon Signed Paired Rank Test (Wilcoxon 1945) to analyse the statistical significance of five of the pre- and post- Visual analogue scale data. The course itself evaluated extremely positively. The results showed that statistically significant improvements at p>0.05 in all aspects of knowledge, skill and confidence. Further analysis after six months has also shown sustainable results.
Conclusion Staff reported great benefit from the CBT training, could use the skills and recognised the value of the training in their daily clinical practice. CBT skills can complement previous communication skills training. The training can provide staff with basic skills that can improve knowledge and confidence and can encourage them to adopt a more patient focused and goal centred approach to care.
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