Practice Management and Administration: Ethics |

Bad News: Are You Ready? Health Care Providers Perceptions Regarding Their Training to Deliver Bad News FREE TO VIEW

Fernanda Duarte; Carlos Anaya; Sharon Einav; Constanza Morales; Fernando Aragon, MS; Joseph Varon
Author and Funding Information

Shaare Tzedek Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel

Copyright 2016, American College of Chest Physicians. All Rights Reserved.

Chest. 2016;149(4_S):A418. doi:10.1016/j.chest.2016.02.435
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SESSION TYPE: Original Investigation Slide

PRESENTED ON: Saturday, April 16, 2016 at 04:00 PM - 05:00 PM

PURPOSE: To study health care workers perceptions regarding the sufficiency of their training in delivering bad news to patients or patients’ families.

METHODS: Following Institutional Review Board approval a questionnaire consisting of 30 questions was applied to 1450 healthcare workers and rotating medical students in eight countries and twelve cities. The questionnaire was self-applied and respondents remained anonymous to encourage honest disclosure. The main outcome measure was the proportion of respondents that felt they had been properly trained to deliver bad news.

RESULTS: A total of 1450 surveys were applied among medical professionals. Approximately one third of the respondents (n=497, 34.3%) were medical students. Other respondents included nurses (n=398, 27.0%), physicians (n=268 18.5%) and additional heath care staff (18.5%). Most respondents were female (59.2%) that reported having worked with patients for an average of 9.41±10.14 years. Most of the respondents stated that when a patient under their care dies, they themselves deliver the bad news to the family (63.7%, n=924). Conversely, in response to the question: “Have you ever undergone formal training in how to provide information to a patient’s family about death and dying?”, only 32.9% of the people that answered “yes”. The proportion of respondents that felt their training on the topic sufficed was not associated with profession or sex (non-significant associations both).

CONCLUSIONS: Most medical professionals feel they are responsible for delivering bad news regarding death or dying but only a minority feel their training suffices for such difficult communication

CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Bioethics courses should include not only passive learning but also skills training. Practicing healthcare professionals should receive periodic training updates, moral support and expert guidance from relevant professionals to boost their skills and competence when dealing with the medical challenge of delivering bad news.

DISCLOSURE: The following authors have nothing to disclose: Fernanda Duarte, Carlos Anaya, Sharon Einav, Constanza Morales, Fernando Aragon, Joseph Varon

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