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Poster Abstracts

Meaning Making at End of Life- An Interactive Spirituality Training Program for Palliative Care Providers

Authors:

Joesphine Chow ,

South Western Sydney Local Health District, Liverpool, NSW, AU
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Kim Jobburn,

South Western Sydney Local Health District, Liverpool, NSW, AU
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Janeane Harlum,

South Western Sydney Local Health District, Liverpool, NSW, AU
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Jessie Williams

The Ground Swell Project, Glenbrook, NSW, AU
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Abstract

Introduction

The PEACH Program which commenced in 2013 provides home support packages for patients at end of life across four Local Health Districts (LHDs) in New South Wales.  Formal evaluation via Carer Surveys (2015 -2017) identified the “Opportunity to discuss Spiritual Matters” as a priority area.

Practice change implemented

Feedback was presented to clinicians who identified education/training in this identified priority would be beneficial.

In 2017, as part of PEACH Program capability development an interactive spirituality workshop was created in partnership with The Ground Swell Project aiming to increase practitioner knowledge and skills.

Aim and theory of change

Clinicians indicate feelings of uncertainty and sometimes apprehension in speaking with the dying client and their families regarding topics of spirituality or meaning making at end of life.  This is due to not wanting to cause offence or not knowing when and if the topic should be raised leaving professional care providers wondering about their role in helping those who are dying and their inner social networks to make meaning at end of life.

Aim of the workshops was for clinicians to enhance their skills in meeting the spiritual needs of patients, families and their carers.

Targeted population and stakeholders

Palliative care clinical/non clinical staff and volunteers across the PEACH participating LHDs, Primary Health Networks and Affiliated Health Organisations staff.

Timeline

 Prototype development June 2017, Design and Testing, two workshops -November 2017 and workplace mini projects.  

Highlights

An innovative clinician co-designed training where the practitioner is at ‘the heart’ of the training, providing a series of activities using peer discussion and self-reflection.    

Post workshop evaluation indicated a positive rise in comfort, knowledge and confidence, average rating of 5.7/10 prior and 8.3/10 post workshop.

Sustainability

The training supports a strong peer learning culture enabling attendees to share insights with their teams back in the workplace enabling sustainability. A number of sites opted to include spirituality training within their inservice calendars ensuring that the lessons learnt continue to be shared.

Transferability

The interactive spirituality training workshop program is designed to be easily adopted within acute, community and primary care sectors. Program is designed as a train the trainer enabling capacity building within the workplace regardless of setting.

Conclusions

Consumer/Clinician co-designed spirituality training identified the importance of developing a clinicians’ ability and confidence about their role and understanding of spirituality and its’ relationship to meeting the needs of the client/carer(s) at end of life.

Discussions

The training program enabled clinicians to understand that spirituality is how a person makes sense of their connections. It identified that we never know what makes sense to a person until we respond to them and build on the information they give us. It’s not difficult, but it can be challenging to feel confident.

Lessons learned

Recognition is required within the workplace that how one feels at work has a direct impact on their ability to meet the spiritual needs of dying people and their families.

How to Cite: Chow J, Jobburn K, Harlum J, Williams J. Meaning Making at End of Life- An Interactive Spirituality Training Program for Palliative Care Providers. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2021;20(S1):186. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/ijic.s4186
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Published on 26 Feb 2021.

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