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vol. 19

The impact of palliative medicine education on medical students’ perception of palliative care

Leszek Pawłowski
Anna Wyszadko
Justyna Janiszewska
Tomasz Buss
Aleksandra Modlińska
Magdalena Osowicka
Agnieszka Stankiewicz
Monika Lichodziejewska-Niemierko

Psychoonkologia 2015, 1: 19-26
Online publish date: 2015/06/10
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Introduction: According to polish law palliative medicine has been included in the compulsory topic of medical education. The Department of Palliative Medicine of Medical University in Gdansk, since its establishment in 1995 provides training in palliative medicine for medical students. These classes include 10 hours of seminars and 20 hours of practical training, part of which takes place in hospices.

The aim of this study was to estimate the impact of education in palliative care on students’ perception of the situation of chronically ill people.

Material and methods: The diagnostics survey was applied. Students of the 6th year of medical education filled in the anonymous questionnaires before (139) and after (99) one-week palliative medicine classes.

Results: After classes respondents believed that pain management in palliative patients can be more effective, than they estimated week before. Moreover they claimed that providing patients with palliative care allows to solve physical, social, psychological and spirituals problems to extent estimated higher than before palliative medicine classes. The number of respondents who do not approve continuing futile therapy in terminal patients increased from 57% to 74% after classes, and the percentage of students who accept such proceeding decreased from 27% to 12%. After classes students indicated that the support for families of palliative patients is more important than they had previously thought.

Conclusions: Teaching palliative medicine to medical students leads to changes in perceiving palliative care and appreciating benefits it gives to patients and their families.

palliative medicine, medical students, terminally ill, education, cross-sectional studies

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