A Systematic Review of Social work education and training programs in palliative and end-of-life care

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Institutionen för socialt arbete

Abstract: Background: The advanced modern medicine and people’s open-minded attitudes about death call for the development of palliative and end-of-life care. Patients and their family members also promote higher requirement to the professionals and the quality and quantity of the service. Education and training programs in this specific area are the prerequisite for social workers to get basic knowledge, professional competencies, and values and ethics of end-of-life care before they work for clients.Aim: Reviewing the literature related to social work education and training programs in palliative and end-of-life care globally in terms of participants, goals, modes, teaching and learning strategies, contents, and learning outcomes to get a comprehensive understanding of current programs.Methodology and Data sources: A systematic review of literature searching social work education and training programs in palliative and end-of-life care from the online databases Social Work Abstracts, Social Services Abstracts, Sociology Abstracts, PsycINFO, and MEDLINE/ PubMed between January 2009 and January 2019. A total of 1376 abstracts were retrieved, and 18 papers were included that met the inclusion and exclusion criteria.Results: The type of education and training programs were consisted of three components: interprofessional, death and grief, and communication. The majority of them were interprofessional programs with nine papers included. But cultural programs and courses were lacked in the current education programs. Participants highly evaluated these education and training programs that benefited to their personal development and career growth, and enhance their confidence, competency, self-efficacy, and professional knowledge and skills. Real experiences and evidence-based teaching methods, as well as web-based strategies were required by participants.Discussion and Conclusions: Education and training are necessary to enhance social workers’ skills and perceived preparedness in palliative and end-of-life care, but the teaching contents and evaluation methods should be reinforced and completed in the future development.

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