Background It is critical to discuss with advance cancer patients on their EOL issues to improve the quality for their future care. Japanese nurses, however, are apt to feel uncomfortable to deal with such discussions with these patients because most of them have limited opportunities for the training for EOL communication.
We investigated whether ‘EOL care education course’ for nurses may help improving their knowledge and skills on EOL care, including communication ability.
Methods We provided 15 nurse participants with the educational course based on the ELNEC Core Curriculum including communication and ethical consideration. They all had more than 2 to 25 years of nursing experience. Efficacy of the course was evaluated by using the End of Life Nursing Education-Japan Core Quiz.
Results The overall correct answer rate before the course was 66% which was significantly improved to 86% after the training (p<0.05). The learning effect was obtained about the knowledge and attitude towards the EOL care by taking the course. The participants felt it challenging to deal with ethical facets and patients’ spiritual pains. The results, however, showed an increase in the correct answer rates on ‘communication skills’ from 70% to 93%, before and after the course, respectively. We believe that the practical role play during the course contributed this improvement.
Conclusions The education course we provided improved knowledge and skills for EOL communication in the nurse participants. We learned that in the future the course needs more attention on the ‘ethical consideration’ and ‘spiritual care’.
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