ASCO recently conducted follow-up surveys to assess the impact of International Palliative Care Workshops (IPCW) held in Morocco and Bhutan in 2017.
The first workshop was held in Fez, Morocco in September 2017 in partnership with Hassan II Hospital University. The second workshop was held in Thimphu, Bhutan in November 2017 in partnership with Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan and Health Volunteers Overseas.
Ninety-four percent of respondents to the Morocco follow-up and 91 percent respondents to the Bhutan follow-up said that they had made practice changes based on what they learned at the workshop. The most frequently reported changes for both workshops included changes related to communication with patients and their families, and pain management.
Both workshops appear to have been most successful in increasing participants' ability to communicate with patients about pain, with all respondents to the Morocco survey and 95 percent of respondents to the Bhutan survey reporting improvement in this area. The objectives of pain and symptom management appear to have been successful as well. All respondents to the Morocco survey and 89 percent of Bhutan respondents said that they had used skills they learned at the workshop in the year since attending.
Skills related to communication with patients and their families about what to expect during the end of life were utilized by slightly fewer respondents to each survey. Eighty-four percent of respondents to the Bhutan survey reported using these skills since attending the workshop. The Morocco workshop focused on conducting family meetings specifically; 75 percent of respondents said that they had used these skills since attending the IPCW.
The IPCW in Bhutan was held in conjunction with a CCPC. The results for the CCPC were less positive than the IPCW. While some respondents reported practice changes related to CCPC-specific objectives such as counseling patients about reducing cancer risk factors or receiving screening for cancer, the percentage of respondents who reported using skills learned at the course was in some cases much lower than the CCPC average, particularly for the objectives related to cancer screening or patient referrals. While the majority of respondents to the on-site evaluation reported learning new skills for each objective, more than half of respondents listed their profession as nurses. Similarly, nurses made up half of respondents to the impact assessment; it is possible that these respondents learned new skills at the course but were unable to use the skills in their practice due to the limitation on services they are authorized to provide.