Background CHATT was recently developed in India to assist palliative care nurses with minimal training in communication to meet the holistic needs of patients. A pilot study resulted in both subjective and objective improvements in care and was well received by patients. The tool was also an interest to experienced practitioners who saw value in a visual aid for both staff and patients to assist in both communication and therapy.
Method Practitioners representing the hospice (IPU, Day Care, Home Care, Hospice at Home, bereavement) were selected randomly and the CHATT was demonstrated (August 2017). All wanted to participate in trialling the tool which is accompanied by written guidance and a tutorial. Minor changes to CHATT were made to ensure appropriate for a Western population e.g. aspects relating to spirituality. Staff were given the tool to use with patients then, believing the tool to be of benefit to their practice, all agreed to take part in a pilot study.
10 participants (1 doctor, 2 counsellors, 7 nurses) with a range of palliative care experience, used the CHATT and completed a feedback form following use of the tool. Feedback was obtained relating to their own experiences, with a section for feedback from patients also included. When possible, this feedback was taken by an alternative HCP. Patients were informed the tool was a new concept and their opinions were sought. Support for staff was provided in the event of any perceived difficult conversations.
Results Both staff and patients deemed the tool to be very helpful in assisting in conversations, particularly around psychospiritual aspects of care in both inpatients and the community. Experienced practitioners also valued the tool.
Conclusion The CHATT appears to have value in assisting staff with more challenging conversations and is well received by many patients. A formal research study on CHATT is warranted and planned.
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