Improving psychosocial care: a professional development programme

Yates, Patsy, Clinton, Michael, & Hart, Gail (1996) Improving psychosocial care: a professional development programme. International Journal of Palliative Nursing, 2(4), pp. 212-216.

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Despite the numerous reports of difficulties experienced by health care providers in providing psychosocial care to terminally ill patients and their families, few studies have yet been undertaken to examine the effectiveness of different educational approaches to addressing these issues. The aim of this paper is to describe a programme of professional development for palliative care nurses, which is currently being offered to 181 registered nurses in Queensland, Australia. The programme is based on an action learning model and is designed to facilitate processes of reflection and peer consultation. In Part One of this paper, a review of this literature is presented to provide the background and rationale for the programme design. Details of the research programme developed to evaluate the programme will be presented in Part Two of this paper, which is to be published in the next issue of this Journal. Surveys of health professionals suggest that the demands of working with terminally ill patients are associated with a great deal of stress (Beaton and Degner 1990, Seale 1992, Vachon 1995), and emotional burden, as they are confronted with their patients' physical and emotional suffering over extended periods of time (Ullrich and Fitzgerald 1990). Key areas of concern (Lyons 1988, Bramwell 1989, Seale 1992, Copp and Dunn 1993, Wilkinson 1995) include:

  • Handling questions and conversations with dying patients.
  • Dealing with ethical and moral issues.
  • Handling emotions.
  • Giving hope.
  • Providing spiritual care and bereavement support.
  • Confronting team communication problems.

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ID Code: 61875
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
ISSN: 1357-6321
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Nursing
Deposited On: 18 Aug 2013 22:51
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2013 21:09

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