Author(s): Rawlinson F, Finlay I
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Abstract The Association for Palliative Medicine (APM) of Great Britain and Ireland has developed a core curriculum for palliative medicine. To establish the appropriateness of this core curriculum as a standard against which training can be measured, we have examined how doctors from different medical, social and cultural backgrounds view its various elements. In 1998, we succeeded in tracing 304 of 390 doctors, past students of the University of Wales College of Medicine's Diploma in Palliative Medicine. Each was sent a postal questionnaire that asked them to rate the importance to their own clinical practice of each element of the APM core curriculum. Two-hundred sixty-three questionnaires were returned--a response rate of 87\%. The ages ranged from 30 to 71 (mean 44) years; 56\% (147) were female. Forty per cent (105) were general practitioners, and 37\% (97) hospice and 23\% (61) hospital-based. Eighty-three per cent (220) were from the UK, 5\% (14) from the rest of Europe, 8\% (21) from the Far East and 3\% (8) from other countries. The majority of respondents agreed that all elements of the APM core curriculum were of 'very great' or 'great' importance to their current clinical practice. Respondents' medical, social or cultural setting had only very minor effects on their attitude to individual elements. The elements of the curriculum perceived as being of greatest importance were: communication with patients and their families, assessment, diagnosis and treatment of pain, multiprofessional team working and psychological responses to illness and bereavement. Clinicians from a wide variety of backgrounds confirm the relevance of the APM core curriculum. This justifies its adoption as the audit standard against which the quality of training and educational programmes in Palliative Medicine should be judged.
This article was published in Palliat Med
and referenced in Journal of Palliative Care & Medicine