Background The number of patients with palliative needs is increasing globally. In response, the World Health Organisation has recommended that ‘training and continuing education on palliative care should be integrated as a routine element of all undergraduate medical and nursing professional education ‘However, the provision of training in palliative medicine is variable both nationally and internationally.
Methods Initially organised as a Taskforce of the EAPC Steering Group on Medical Education and Training, the International Medical Education in Palliative Care (IMEP) project sought to examine how well current training prepares doctors to care for patients with palliative needs. EORTC structured translations of validated assessment tool were produced in French, German, Spanish and Italian, and piloted in participating countries. In addition, MD students from Aachen University, and PhD students from the University of Liverpool have developed further translations/assessments in China, India, Brazil, South Africa and Armenia. As a development, the ‘Global IMEP Initiative’ seeks to:
pilot an electronic version of the assessment tools;
coalesce existing data; and
engage wider international collaboration to establish baselines on the preparedness of newly qualified doctors to practice palliative care.
Results To date, electronic versions of tools have been produced in English and German, structured to be accessible across computer, tablet and smartphone formats. Piloting of the electronic tool is ongoing in the UK, Germany and Israel. Preliminary data indicates that the electronic format is user friendly, transferable across languages and increases return rate.
Conclusion The IMEP electronic assessment tools are amenable to international translation and dissemination. Data from established national and international baselines will assist in the further promotion of the integration of training in palliative medicine within existing curricula.
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