Using a pilot curriculum in geriatric palliative care to improve communication skills among medical students

Sandra E. Sanchez-Reilly, Elaine M. Wittenberg-Lyles, Melinda M. Villagran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of an elective geriatric palliative care course on medical students' attitudes, knowledge, and behaviors regarding communication with terminally ill patients. Surveys were administered at the beginning and end of the elective. Despite a significant increase in knowledge about geriatric and palliative medicine (F = 24.80; P .001), there were no significant changes in students' self-reported behaviors when applying curriculum-based communication strategies. However, the qualitative analysis of open-ended questions showed that the curriculum intervention did result in an improvement in empowering message strategies for breaking bad news. The evaluation of the end-of-life curriculum needs to exceed the measurement of attitudes and knowledge and include behavioral assessment of end-of-life communication skills.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-136
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
Volume24
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2007

Keywords

  • Communication skills
  • End-of-life education
  • Medical training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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