Background and Objective: Despite the growth of palliative medicine, 39% of hospitals do not have palliative care teams for consultation or to provide resident education. We examined the impact of resident-led education in palliative care principles on attitudes toward and comfort with palliative medicine and end-of-life care among internal medicine residents.
Methods: An educational module designed by the authors was presented to other internal medicine residents in the program. Pre- and post-intervention survey data measuring residents' agreement with various statements regarding palliative medicine and end-of-life care were analyzed. Residents' agreement with various statements regarding palliative medicine and end-of-life care on a 5-point Likert scale was analyzed.
Results: Following the intervention, participants reported improved comfort with general knowledge of palliative medicine (p < 0.01), specific resources available to patients (p < 0.001), and explaining the difference between palliative care and end-of-life care (p < 0.001). In each of the seven specific domains of palliative medicine covered in the educational session, residents reported a statistically significant increase in comfort in all of the areas addressed (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: This study demonstrates that a resident-led curriculum in palliative medicine can improve resident comfort within this still-under-represented area of medicine.