Holding back my own emotions”: Evaluation of an online education module in pediatric end-of-life care

Deb Rawlings, Megan Winsall, Huahua Yin, Kim Devery

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Abstract

Providing quality end-of-life care to a child who is dying in hospital can be stressful and challenging, and health professionals often feel ill-prepared and require additional support. End-of-Life Essentials offers online education modules for health professionals working in acute hospitals, including one on end-of-life care in pediatric settings. This study aimed to evaluate this module and explore learners’ views on challenges faced when caring for a dying child and their family in a hospital setting. Learners comprised nurses, doctors, and allied health professionals. A quantitative pre-/post-evaluation analysis was conducted using learner data (n = 552) on knowledge and skills gained from engagement with the module, along with a qualitative thematic content analysis on learner responses (n = 395) to a post-evaluation free-text response question, between May 2019 and May 2020. Learners’ post-evaluation ranks of perceived knowledge, skill, attitude, and confidence were significantly higher than pre-evaluation ranks (p < 0.001). Effect sizes were small to medium, ranging from 0.31 to 0.38 (95% confidence intervals from 0.23 to 0.45). Emerging themes from the qualitative data were dealing with emotions, and communicating effectively. This evaluation suggests that the Pediatrics module could be a useful online learning resource for health professionals. A planned longitudinal study will further investigate practice change.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Child Health Care
Early online date5 Apr 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Apr 2022

Keywords

  • End of life care
  • communication
  • education, distance
  • hospitals, general
  • online
  • pediatrics

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