Inter-Professional High Fidelity Simulation: The Way Forward for End-of-Life Care Education

Priscilla Cunningham*, Joanne Reid, Helen Noble, Helen McAneney, Claire Carswell, Susan McClement, Billiejoan Rice, Andrew Spence, Ian Walsh and Claire Lewis

Inter-Professional High Fidelity Simulation: The Way Forward for End-of-Life Care Education.

Providing high quality care for dying patients and their families has been highlighted as a national priority in the United Kingdom (UK) with national guidelines and policies existing to provide direction specific to the provision of end-of-life care.

These include National Institute for Health and Care Excellence ‘Guidance for end-of-life care in adults’.  and ‘End-of-life Care Strategy: Promoting high quality care for adults at the end of their life’ from the Department of Health.

The challenges faced by dying patients are substantial and potentially overwhelming and those near the end-of-life may experience perhaps extreme symptoms that include physical, spiritual and psychosocial suffering.

Despite the inevitability of death, patients and families may not always receive the
quality EOLC they desire. Patients and their families have reported sub-optimal EOLC with
unmet needs in areas such as communication and information giving, and symptom control and emotional support.

This can be exemplified in the case of the care of patients with cancer
cachexia at end-of-life, where research uncovered a lack of communication and information
giving from healthcare professionals about the causes and impact of cachexia in advanced cancer.

They reported that this left patients and their families feeling apprehensive and distressed
at an already emotive time, weakening their confidence in the ability of the staff to provide
adequate care.

In order to further investigate this response from healthcare professionals, Millar et al conducted a study exploring healthcare professionals’ understanding and perception of cachexia at end-of-life.

Palliat Med Hosp Care Open J. 2017; 3(1): 6-10. doi: 10.17140/PMHCOJ-3-120