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Evaluating the impact of a multidisciplinary master programme in palliative care on professional learning outcomes: a cross-sectional study after 20 years of experience
  1. Cristina Lasmarías1,2,
  2. Lourdes Guanter1,
  3. Pamela Turrillas3,4,
  4. Judith Peñafiel5 and
  5. Xavier Gómez-Batiste2,3,4
  1. 1Education and Training, Catalan Institute of Oncology, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Catalunya, Spain
  2. 2Catalonia Chronic Care Research Group, Universitat de Vic—Universitat Central de Catalunya, Vic, Catalunya, Spain
  3. 3Chair of Palliative Care, Universitat de Vic—Universitat Central de Catalunya, Vic, Catalunya, Spain
  4. 4The 'Qualy' Observatory, Catalan Institute of Oncology, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Catalunya, Spain
  5. 5Department of Statistics, Biomedical Research Institute of Bellvitge, IDIBELL, Barcelona, Spain
  1. Correspondence to Cristina Lasmarías, Education and training, Catalan Institute of Oncology, 08908 L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Spain; clasmarias{at}


Objective To assess the impact after 20 years of a Master’s degree in palliative care (MsPC) on the participants’ educational outcomes in terms of educational needs satisfaction, motivation, applicability and professional development (PD) in the palliative care (PC) field.

Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted between October 2016 and February 2017. Participants were students of the MsPC from 13 editions. An ad hoc survey comprising closed-end questions was provided. Variables such as sociodemographic and learning outcomes, based on Kirkpatrick’s model, were included.

Results Respondents were 76.6% women, and 60% were between 30 and 50 years of age. Over half of participants were physicians (57.4%), with >15 years of experience (52%). 77% (n=152) reported previous work experience (PWE) in PC, and 23% (n=45) had no PWE. After completing the MsPC, 49% of those without PWE were hired to work in a PC unit, while 84,2% with PWE continued work in a PC-related position. 51.6% professionals with PWE were currently working in other PC areas, such as training or research. High scores were observed on expectations, training needs, motivation in professional practice, PD, applicability and satisfaction, in both groups. Data have shown statistically significant differences on the perceived value of the MsPC to obtain work in the PC field (p=0.006).

Conclusions This MsPC training programme improves educational outcomes, and promotes PD, regardless of PWE in PC. Interdisciplinary training for all professionals who care for PC individuals is required. To ensure the quality of education in PC programmes, a systematic process of continuous evaluation is needed.

  • education and training
  • terminal care
  • end of life care

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  • Contributors CL and LG conceptualised and design the study. CL and LG involved in data collection, JP performed the statistical analysis, CL, LG and PT contributed to data analysis and interpretation of the findings. CL, LG and PT wrote the draft of the manuscript, CL, LG, PT and XG-B reviewed and approved the final manuscript. All authors meet conditions of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors regarding authorship.

  • Funding This research was supported by the University of Vic and the Catalan Institute of Oncology. This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies 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 on reasonable request. Data are available from a private platform.