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J Pain Symptom Manage ; 2022 Oct 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2229569


CONTEXT: Palliative care awareness, education and practice vary widely across global health systems, especially throughout low- and middle-income countries such as Nigeria. Unfortunately, qualitative investigations into the context, experiences and challenges of Nigerian health care professionals providing palliative care in these settings are still underrepresented in the literature. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to better understand the perceptions of palliative care providers in Nigeria. METHODS: The authors conducted an online survey of health professionals caring for patients with palliative care and end of life needs. Survey participants were recruited via convenience sampling from a palliative care training program in Lagos, Nigeria. RESULTS: 27 palliative care program participants (12 physicians, seven nurses, four pharmacists, two psychiatrists and two physiotherapists) responded to the two-question survey. 39 free text responses were collected and analyzed. A majority (33%, n = 13) of responses reported challenges associated with caring for patients with cancer. Suboptimal pain management was the second most common response type (18%, n = 7). Other significant responses included caring for patients with comorbidities (13%, n = 5), patients seeking spiritual care (8%, n = 3) and patients who were unable to afford standard treatment (5%, n = 2). Uncategorized responses (23%, n = 9) included experiences caring for patients with injuries sustained in military operations and COVID-19, among others. CONCLUSION: These results provide valuable insights into the palliative care experiences and challenges of an interdisciplinary set of health care practitioners providing palliative care in Nigeria. Further research is needed to elucidate the facilitators and barriers of delivering palliative care in similar settings.

Ann Glob Health ; 88(1): 96, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2100230


Background: Education and capacity building in palliative care are greatly needed in Nigeria. Currently, two institutions integrate palliative care into the undergraduate medical curriculum and no post graduate training exists. A team from the University of Lagos in Nigeria and Northwestern University in the US collaborated to design, implement, and evaluate a 12-hour virtual palliative care training program for Nigerian health professionals. Objective: This study investigated the impact of the first session of the training program on healthcare professionals' knowledge, skills, attitudes, and confidence in palliative care. Methods: The Education in Palliative and End-of-Life (EPEC) curriculum and the Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association (KEHPCA) curriculum were used as foundations for the program and adapted for the Nigerian context. Delivered online, the training focused on goals of palliative care, whole patient assessment, communication skills, pain management, psychosocial issues, palliative care in COVID, oncology, and HIV. A mixed-methods evaluation based on Kirkpatrick's evaluation framework was used and data were gathered from surveys and focus groups. Findings: Thirty-five health professionals completed the training. The training had a positive impact on knowledge, skills, and attitudes. Confidence in providing end-of-life care increased from 27.3% to 92.9% while confidence in prescribing medication to relieve symptoms at the end of life increased from 42.9% to 92.0%. Performance on multiple-choice knowledge tests increased by 10% (p < 0.01). All participants stated that they would recommend the program to a peer while 96.4% reported the program was relevant to the Nigerian context. Qualitative analysis suggested that the training would help participants provide more holistic care for patients, communicate better, and change how they interacted with families. Topics to be addressed in future training were identified. Conclusions: This virtual training can be an important element in palliative care capacity building in Nigeria and represents a model for global health collaboration.

COVID-19 , Education, Distance , Humans , Palliative Care , Nigeria , Curriculum , Workforce