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Children's Palliative Care; the identified Learning Needs of Paediatricians

Journal title
Irish medical journal
Publication year
Whitla, L.; Devins, M.; Molloy, E. J.; Twomey, M.; O'Reilly, M.; Balfe, J.

Aim To determine baseline learning needs of Paediatricians in Ireland when caring for children with palliative care needs. Methods A questionnaire based online survey was conducted. Results One hundred and fourteen paediatricians responded to the survey, the majority were Specialist Registrars but almost half were consultant paediatricians (46% n=52). Most had never had formal education in the paediatric palliative care (57% n=48). Areas of future training that were ranked as important or highly important (percentage of respondents) included: pain management (98% n=81), management of the dying child (96% n=80), palliative care resources (95%n=79), advanced care planning (95% n=79) and communication skills (86% n=71). Those surveyed were asked to comment on the challenges of recent clinical interactions, on analysis three overarching themes emerged; best interests of the child, inadequate training and confidence and co-ordinating care. Conclusion This survey highlights the learning needs of paediatricians and will inform the development of meaningful education sessions for doctors.

Research abstracts