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Teaching about death and dying: A national mixed‐methods survey of palliative care education provision in Swedish undergraduate nursing programmes
Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University College, Department of Health Care Sciences. Karolinska Institutet.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0197-9121
Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University College, Department of Health Care Sciences. Mittuniversitetet.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9623-5813
Högskolan i Skövde.
Göteborgs universitet.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1987-5419
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2022 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, ISSN 0283-9318, E-ISSN 1471-6712, Vol. 36, no 2, p. 545-557Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: In coming decades, the number of people affected by illnesses who need palliative care will rise worldwide. Registered Nurses are in a central position in providing this care, and education is one of the necessary components for meeting coming requirements. However, there is a lack of knowledge about palliative care in undergraduate nursing education curricula, including the extent of the education provided and the related pedagogical methods.

Aim: The aim was to investigate the extent, content and pedagogical methods used and to explore lecturers’ experiences of being responsible for teaching and learning about palliative care for undergraduate nursing students on nursing programmes at Swedish universities.

Setting: All 24 universities responsible for providing undergraduate nursing education in Sweden participated.

Participants: One lecturer with in-depth knowledge about palliative care or end-of-life care education participated in the quantitative (n = 24) and qualitative (n = 22) parts of the study.

Method: A mixed-method research study with an explorative design was used. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse quantitative data, and content analysis for qualitative, with both also analysed integratively.

Results: Few undergraduate nursing programmes included a specific course about palliative care in their curricula, however, all universities incorporated education about palliative care in some way. Most of the palliative care education was theoretical, and lecturers used a variety of pedagogical strategies and their own professional and personal experience to support students to understand the palliative care approach. Topics such as life and death were difficult to both learn and teach about.

Conclusions: There is a need for substantial education about palliative care. Lecturers strive on their own to develop students’ understanding and increase the extent of palliative care education with innovative teaching strategies, but must compete with other topics. Palliative care teaching must be prioritised, not only by the universities, but also by the national authority.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2022. Vol. 36, no 2, p. 545-557
Keywords [en]
Death and dying, Palliative care, Qualitative approaches, Quantitative approaches, Undergraduate nurse education
National Category
Nursing Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:esh:diva-9330DOI: 10.1111/scs.13061ISI: 000736112500001PubMedID: 34962307OAI: oai:DiVA.org:esh-9330DiVA, id: diva2:1623283
Available from: 2021-12-28 Created: 2021-12-28 Last updated: 2023-01-03Bibliographically approved

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Lundh Hagelin, CarinaMelin-Johansson, ChristinaÖsterlind, Jane

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Lundh Hagelin, CarinaMelin-Johansson, ChristinaHenoch, IngelaÖsterlind, Jane
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