Journal Mobile

F Doubal, E Cowey, F Bailey, SA Murray, S Borthwick, M Somerville, C Lerpiniere, L Reid, K Boyd, G Hynd, GE Mead
Journal Issue: 
Volume 48: Issue 3: 2018




Background Communication between professionals, patients and families about palliative and end-of-life care after stroke is complex and there is a need for educational resources in this area.

Methods To explore the key learning needs of healthcare professionals, a multidisciplinary, expert group developed a short electronic survey with open and closed questions, and then distributed it to six UK multiprofessional networks and two groups of local clinicians.

Results A total of 599 healthcare professionals responded. Educational topics that were either definitely or probably needed were: ensuring consistent messages to families and patients (88%); resolving conflicts among family members (83%); handling unrealistic expectations (88%); involving families in discussions without them feeling responsible for decisions (82%); discussion of prognostic uncertainties (79%); likely mode of death (72%); and oral feeding for ‘comfort’ in patients at risk of aspiration (71%). The free-text responses (n = 489) and 82 ‘memorable’ cases identified similar themes. 

Conclusion Key topics of unmet need for education in end-of-life care in stroke have been identified and these have influenced the content of an open access, web-based educational resource.