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Palliative care clinicians and online education in India: a survey

Abstract

Background Whether online resources can facilitate spread of palliative care knowledge and skills in India is an urgent question given few providers and a large, ageing population.

Objectives We surveyed needs and feasibility regarding e-learning.

Methods Indian, Australian and North American palliative care experts developed an electronic survey using Qualtrics, emailed to all registrants of the 2017 Indian Association of Palliative Care (IAPC) conference and distributed during the conference.

Results Of 60 respondents (66% men, 60% doctors), most worked in hospitals and had oncology backgrounds, and 35% were from Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Most (90.9%) received palliative care training in India or overseas with 41% trained in a Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences residential course (4–6 weeks). 17% completed the IAPC essential certificate and 22% had undertaken various distance learning courses. Interest in online training was substantial for most aspects of palliative care.

Conclusion There was a high level of interest and reported feasibility in taking a case-based online course. This pilot survey provides support for online case-based education in India, particularly among physicians.

  • education and training
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