A training program for home care professionals, HOPE (Home care Outreach for Palliative care Education), was designed to improve the knowledge and skills of those providing care to patients and family caregivers at home. This article presents an overview of the pilot HOPE training program and a case study to illustrate the complex end-of-life (EOL) care needs in nonhospice home care settings. HOPE was designed as five training modules based on a needs assessment survey completed by 134 home care agencies. The training modules were composed of (a) General Overview of End of Life Care; (b) Pain Management; (c) Symptom Management; (d) Communication with Patients and Families; and (e) the Death Event. The program was implemented for clinical staff (N = 52), predominantly nurses, in two home care agencies and evaluated with pre- and postcourse surveys. Pre- and postcourse evaluations demonstrated an increase in the overall rating of EOL care from a mean rating of 5.97 to 7.42 for self-assessment and from 6.59 to 7.94 for agency assessment (on a scale of 0 = not at all effective to 10 = very effective). Future palliative care education should also include evaluation of the impact of such programs on patient care. We concluded that increasing palliative care knowledge of home care professionals is necessary to improve patient care at the EOL.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine