Funded under the St James’s Place Charitable Foundation grant programme, managed by Hospice UK.
Problem identified People with heart failure, have a high burden of unmet palliative care needs. It was identified that education, support and development for team members may help (Hospice UK, 2017).
Aim To examine outcomes of a three-hour interactive heart failure workshop on perceived self-reflection of a combination of mixed health care professionals.
Methods At the start and end of the workshop the participants were asked to reflect on their understanding of heart failure, and the causes of heart failure and symptoms of heart failure. Participants were asked to identify their own personal learning objectives, these were gathered by the facilitator at the beginning and revisited at the end of the workshop.
17 workshops - 110 participants completed the questionnaire.
Results The workshops increased attendees’ self-assessed understanding of heart failure and its cause and symptoms with average scores improving from 2.6 to 4.6 on a 5 point Likert scale. Before the workshop only 6% of people strongly agreed that they felt competent to care for a patient with advanced heart failure. This increased to 54% after the workshop. 97% of participants said that their personal learning needs were met.
Discussion Following the course all participants were asked to reflect on their practice and how the course may change their care. The pathology of heart failure and how this related to symptoms was identified: ‘Being able to link the mechanics of the heart for what I deal with on the ward each day.’
Participants also identified having discussions earlier and advance care planning could help also being aware of patient’s prognosis.
In order to establish if application of knowledge is to be put in to practice, further research is being undertaken to explore the impact the training has had on the ability of the participants to care for patients with heart failure.
Conclusion A three-hour workshop may promote awareness, increase confidence and may enable change to practice.