Introduction Palliative care is an important aspect of gynaecological oncology practice. In order to successfully integrate end-of-life (EOL) care in the disease trajectory, it is crucial to incorporate systematic training in subspecialty programmes in gynaecological oncology. We aimed to evaluate the quality of training in palliative care across gynaecological oncology fellows in Europe and to provide a framework to facilitate learning opportunities.
Methods A web-based questionnaire was sent to members of the European Network of Young Gynae-Oncologists (ENYGO). The survey consisted of 36 items covering six domains: respondents’ characteristics, quality and quantity of teaching, curriculum achievements, observation and feedback, EOL clinical practice and attitudes about palliative care.
Results Of the 703 clinicians enrolled in the study, 142 responded (20.2%). Although the majority worked in university hospitals, only half of them (47%) were in a formal subspecialty programme. The majority of respondents (60%) were trained without a mandatory rotation in palliative care units and considered the quality of EOL care teaching as ‘very poor’ or ‘poor’ (57.7%). The majority of respondents (71.6%) did not receive any supervision or feedback at the time of their first consultation on changing the goals of care.
Conclusion Our study underlines lack of structured teaching and supervision in palliative care contents among European fellows in gynaecological oncology. Broad education of healthcare providers is a key factor to achieve the integration of palliative care in gynaecological oncology practice. Stakeholders like European Society of Gynaecological Oncology/ENYGO play an important role to facilitate educational activities and training programmes targeting to EOL care.
- education and training
- terminal care
- other cancer
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Contributors MLR collected data and wrote the manuscript. IZ, KZ and KL conceptualised the idea and analysed the data. RL, PD, VS and DL assisted with the methodology, reviewed and edited the manuscript.
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.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data availability statement Data are available upon request