Exploring the impact of Advance Care Planning training on front-line health and social care professionals: a mixed methods survey

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Background:
    The importance of Advance Care Planning and a workforce who are confident and competent in initiating this, is essential for optimal care. Furthermore, ACP discussions and subsequent documentation need to be commenced at a timely point to ensure the preferences of patients are explored and recorded before a patient could lose mental capacity or if an emergency health situation arises, as seen with the recent Covid-19 pandemic. Studies have reported lack of confidence and preparedness of front-line staff, resulting on potential delays in ACP discussions commencing. To date, the impact Advance Care Planning training for front-line staff has not been widely explored.
    Aims: To assess the impact of training on front-line staffs’ perceptions of Advance Care Planning in care homes, community and hospital settings.
    Methods: An electronic mixed methods survey was distributed to staff working in care homes, hospital and community settings undertaking a one-day training course in Advance Care Planning at one of nine locations in North-West England. Two hundred and forty eight staff completed the survey at the end of the training day. Analysis of data were through descriptive statistics and thematic content analysis.
    Results: 248 staff completed the survey at the end of the training day. 94% of front-line staff felt their knowledge of Advance Care Planning had increased, and 95% felt that they were more confident about doing Advance Care Planning in their role. Four themes were identified in qualitative responses: awareness of Advance Care Planning, confident communication, recording and documenting, and being an Advance Care Planning advocate.
    Discussion and Conclusion: Staff receiving training reported increased confidence in undertaking Advance Care Planning in their roles. A key attribute front-line staff identified as important to their role was having the confidence and skills to initiate Advance Care Planning communication. This model of delivery has reached a wide number of front line staff across multiple setting and clearly the positive findings have shown the value of this course and potential impact on clinical practice.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalNursing times
    Publication statusAccepted/In press - 15 Jun 2020

    Keywords

    • Advance Care Planning
    • End of life care
    • Training

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