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Hepatol Commun ; 6(4): 920-930, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1756574


Palliative care (PC) benefits patients with serious illness including end-stage liver disease (ESLD). As part of a cluster randomized trial, hepatologists were trained to deliver primary palliative care to patients with ESLD using an online course, Palliative Care Always: Hepatology (PCA:Hep). Here we present a multimethod formative evaluation (feasibility, knowledge acquisition, self-efficacy, and practice patterns) of PCA:Hep. Feasibility was measured by completion of coursework and achieving a course grade of >80%. Knowledge acquisition was measured through assessments before and throughout the course. Pre/post-course surveys were conducted to determine self-efficacy and practice patterns. The hepatologists (n = 39) enrolled in a 12-week online course and spent 1-3 hours on the course weekly. The course was determined to be feasible as 97% successfully completed the course and 100% passed. The course was acceptable to participants; 91.7 % reported a positive course experience and satisfaction with knowledge gained (91.6%). The pre/post knowledge assessment showed an improvement of 6.0% (pre 85.9% to post 91.9%, 95% CI [2.8, 9.2], P = 0.001). Self-efficacy increased significantly (P < 0.001) in psychological symptom management, hospice, and psychosocial support. A year after training, over 80% of the hepatologists reported integrating a variety of PC skills into routine patient care. Conclusion: PCA:Hep is feasible, acceptable, and improves learner knowledge and confidence in palliative care skills. This is a viable method to teach primary PC skills to specialists caring for patients with ESLD.

End Stage Liver Disease , Gastroenterologists , Gastroenterology , Hospice and Palliative Care Nursing , End Stage Liver Disease/psychology , Humans , Palliative Care/methods