Paper in Australian Journal of Rural Health
- Reymond, L., Charles, M., Israel, F., Read, T., & Treston,
P. (2005). A strategy to increase the palliative care capacity
of rural primary health care providers. Australian Journal
of Rural Health, 13, 156-161.
Objective: To pilot and evaluate an intervention
aimed at increasing the palliative care capacity of primary
health care providers in rural and remote communities.
Design: Pre- and post-workshop, and three months
Setting: Four locations in Far North Queensland.
Subjects: One hundred and forty-nine primary
health care providers ranging from personal care workers to
general practitioners (GPs).
Interventions: Fourteen workshops were conducted.
These were tailored to local palliative case loads facilitated
by a specialist palliative care team from the Mt Olivet Hospice
Service. Workshop content consisted of introductory didactic
teaching based on participant-nominated topics, small group
case management discussions and a session devoted to psychosocial
and counselling inputs.
Main outcome measures: Cost, GP reach, evaluation
of educational and clinical objectives.
Results: Average cost per participant excluding
wages was $271. Thirty-two per cent of local GPs attended the
workshops and 93.2% of participants reported that the workshops
had satisfied their educational learning objectives. Evaluation
of GP clinical performance revealed significant improvements
in confidence regarding palliative care knowledge and skill
levels as well as the management of common palliative symptoms.
Evaluation of other primary health care providers' clinical
performance showed significant improvements in skills, management
and rated knowledge.
Conclusions: This intervention is relatively
inexpensive, has reasonable reach and is effective as measured
by educational and clinical outcomes.