Mixed-methods evaluation of a face-to-face educational intervention for health and social care professionals to deliver family-centred cancer supportive care when a parent with dependent children is at end of life

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Abstract

Background: Health and social care professionals (professionals) often highlight a lack of knowledge, skills and confidence toward supporting parents at end of life (EoL) with cancer regarding their children (<18 years).
Objectives: To determine the effects of a face-to-face educational intervention on professionals self-efficacy to deliver family-centred cancer care when a parent with dependent children is at EoL.
Design: Mixed-methods study.
Method: An evidence-based 2-hour face-to-face educational intervention was developed, which included a bereaved parent’s lived experience. This intervention was delivered interdisciplinary, mainly at oncology settings (n = 14), facilitated by two expert academic nurses to 347 professionals, between September 2021 and September 2023. Quantitative surveys were completed immediately before and after the intervention by 216 professionals using a modified validated self-efficacy scale and single-item questions evaluating perceived usefulness and relevance. At ⩾ 3-months post-intervention, qualitative interviews (n = 14) explored professionals’ perceptions if and how the intervention impacted practice; analysed using reflexive thematic analysis.
Results: Quantitative findings highlighted a statistically significant improvement in self-efficacy post-educational intervention (p < 0.001). Qualitative data highlighted professionals were more confident in taking an active role in initiating pre-bereavement conversations with parents about their children. This included reassuring parents of the importance of telling the children about the poor prognosis, and guidance on how best to do this. Key components from the educational intervention positively shaping clinical practice, included the bereaved parent’s lived experience, the communication framework and videos emulating good practice. Findings are discussed under two themes: (1) the power of art, science and lived experience to education provision, and (2) promoting family-centred cancer care in practice.
Conclusion: Professionals are ideally placed to support parents as they prepare children for the death of a parent. Evidence- and theory-driven education appeared to positively impact professionals’ provision of family-centred cancer care in practice. A more sustainable delivery model of this educational intervention is required.
Original languageEnglish
Journal Palliative Care and Social Practice
Volume18
DOIs
Publication statusPublished online - 9 Apr 2024
Event3rd EAPC Conference - A Human Rights based approach to Palliative Care: Towards Solutions for Public Health Palliative Care - Belfast
Duration: 16 Nov 202317 Nov 2023

Keywords

  • Family centred cancer care
  • cancer
  • family
  • end of life
  • mixed methods
  • intervention evaluation
  • bereavement
  • health care professional

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