Identifying educational needs in end-of-life care for staff and families of residents in care facilities
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AIM: the purpose of this article is to describe educational needs in end-of-life (EoL) care for staff and families of residents in long-term care (LTC) facilities in the province of Ontario, Canada. Barriers to providing end-of-life care education in LTC facilities are also identified. DESIGN, SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: cross-sectional survey of directors of care in all licensed LTC facilities in the province of Ontario, Canada. RESULTS: directors of care from 426 (76.9% response rate) licensed LTC facilities completed a postal-survey questionnaire. Topics identified as very important for staff education included pain and symptom management and communication with family members about EoL care. Priorities for family education included respecting the residents' expressed wishes for care and communication about EoL care. Having sufficient institutional resources was identified as a major barrier to providing continuing education to both staff and families. CONCLUSION: through examining educational needs in EoL care this study identified an environment of inadequate staffing and over-burdened care providers. The importance of increased staffing concomitant with education is a priority for LTC facilities.
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