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Resuscitation status conversations: a short education session improves junior doctors’ confidence
  1. Lana Ferguson1,
  2. Helen Clark2 and
  3. Wayne de Beer2
  1. 1Palliative Care, Waikato District Health Board, Hamilton, New Zealand
  2. 2Clinical Education and Training Unit, Waikato District Health Board, Hamilton, New Zealand
  1. Correspondence to Dr Lana Ferguson, Palliative Care, Waikato District Health Board, Hamilton 3204, New Zealand; lana.ferguson2{at}


Aim Junior doctors are frequently required to discuss resuscitation status with patients. They generally lack experience, confidence and skill in having these conversations. However, there is currently no formal postgraduate education requirement to improve or develop in this area. The aim of this educational intervention was to improve junior doctors’ level of confidence and skill in having resuscitation status conversations with patients.

Method An educational intervention for 27 prevocational postgraduate second and third-year house officers at a tertiary hospital in Hamilton, New Zealand was conducted. A self-administered survey was completed preintervention and postintervention.

Results Four factors were assessed in the survey (level of confidence having conversations regarding resuscitation status, ability to prognosticate, content of conversations and perceived barriers to having conversations), with a statistically significant difference found with respect to level of confidence having conversations regarding resuscitation status (p=0.001).

Conclusion This study demonstrated that a short education session improves confidence in discussing resuscitation status. It has also identified the need for further postgraduate training in complex communication skills.

  • communication
  • chronic conditions
  • clinical decisions
  • education and training
  • cancer

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  • Contributors LF: planning, conducted intervention, reporting of work. Responsible for overall content. HC: Study design/planning statistical analysis. WdB: study design/planning, reporting of work.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was sought for the study from the New Zealand Health and Disability Ethics Committee (HDEC), formal ethics approval was not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data are available on request

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