The Impact of Pediatric Palliative Care Education on Medical Students’ Knowledge and Attitudes
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Purpose. Most undergraduate palliative care curricula omit pediatric palliative care (PPC) issues. Aim of the study was to evaluate the pilot education programme. Methods. All 391 students of Faculty of Medicine (FM) and 59 students of Division of Nursing (DN) were included in anonymous questionnaire study. Respondents were tested on their knowledge and attitude towards PPC issues before and at the end of the programme and were expected to evaluate the programme at the end. Results. For final analysis, authors qualified 375 double forms filled in correctly (320 FM and 55 DN). Before the programme, students’ knowledge assessed on 0–100-point scale was low (FM: median: 43.35 points; 25%–75%: (40p–53.3p); DN: 26.7p; 13.3p–46.7p), and, in addition, there were differences (P<0.001) between both faculties. Upon completion of the programme, significant increase of the level of knowledge in both faculties was noted (FM: 80p; 73.3–100; DN: 80p; 66.7p–80p). Participation in the programme changed declared attitudes towards some aspects of withholding of special procedures, euthanasia, and abortion. Both groups of students positively evaluated the programme. Conclusions. This study identifies medical students’ limited knowledge of PPC. Educational intervention changes students’ attitudes to the specific end-of-life issues. There is a need for palliative care curricula evaluation.
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