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The impact of an end-of-life communication skills intervention on physicians-in-training

Renee Pekmezaris, Rajni Walia, Christian Nouryan, Lori Katinas, Nancy Zeitoun, Gloria Alano, Howard J Guzik, Paula E Lester, Suzanne Sunday, Gisele Wolf-Klein, Harry Steinberg
Gerontology & Geriatrics Education 2011, 32 (2): 152-63
The palliative medicine literature consistently documents that physicians are poorly prepared to help patients experience a "good death" and are often unaware of their ill patients' preferences for end-of-life care. The present study, enrolling 150 physicians, sought to improve their communication skills for end-of-life care. We found significant attitudinal changes and a greater degree of self-rated competence in delivering end-of-life care for those in the intervention group. This study used a novel approach to train physicians to be better equipped to conduct difficult goals of care conversations with patients and their families at end-of-life.


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