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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

Abstract

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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