Code status communication training in Canadian postgraduate oncology programs: A needs assessment survey. Conference Paper uri icon

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abstract

  • 13 Background: Discussions with cancer patients on cardiopulmonary resuscitation directives, or ‘code status,’ are often led by trainees in oncology. This study was carried out across Canada to identify current educational practices and gaps in training for this communication skill. Methods: Medical and radiation oncology residents and program directors (PDs) from across Canada were invited to complete a survey. Questions addressed current teaching practices, perceived importance of this competency, satisfaction with current education and barriers to teaching code status discussion skills. Relative frequencies of categorical and ordinal responses were calculated. Results: Between November 2016 and February 2017, 95 residents (58.6% response rate [RR]) and 17 PDs (63% RR) completed surveys. Both oncology disciplines and trainees at all levels were represented. Only 54.1% and 48.3% of medical and radiation oncology residents, respectively, had experienced any form of code status communication training before entering an oncology program. During oncology training, 41.1% of residents expect to receive formal teaching on this topic and 47.1% of PDs endorsed inclusion of this topic in curricula. Only 20% of residents reported receiving any formal evaluation for this competency while 41.2% of program directors indicated that formal evaluations are provided. All PDs and 98% of residents positively endorsed the importance of this competency in residency and clinical practice. Among residents, 88% felt that more training would be beneficial, and 82.3% of PDs identified a need for new educational resources in this area. Lack of time, educational resources and evaluation tools were among the most commonly identified barriers to teaching (by PDs and trainees). Conclusions: Canadian medical and radiation oncology residency PDs and trainees feel that code status communication is an important competency, yet teaching and evaluation are limited in this area. Barriers to teaching and skill-building have been identified. Further work is underway to develop novel educational resources for code status communication training to include in postgraduate curricula.

publication date

  • November 1, 2017