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Development of a tailored advance care planning education intervention for Health Care Assistants in the community

   Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

  Dr Felicity Hasson, Dr Esther Beck  Monday, February 06, 2023  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Aim: Guided by the new MRC (Medical Research Council) framework for complex interventions, to co-produce a novel ACP (Advance Care Planning) educational intervention for palliative care Health Care Assistants in the community.


1.     To synthesize evidence and policy and underpinning educational theories relating to ACP provision and associated education programs for palliative care HCAs.

2.     To identify factors surrounding HCAs implementation of ACP.

3.     To determine levels of knowledge and attitudes towards ACP, identify educational needs, explore content of the ACP resource, and agree core aims and learning, teaching, and assessment approaches.

4.     To deliver a co-design workshop to develop intervention content and articulate programme theory and a logic model for the intervention, aligned to aims and learning, teaching, and assessment approach.

Method and Design: A sequential mixed methods design.

Phase 1: Evidence base. Comprised of three components:

(1)  A scoping policy/evidence review to examine current ACP educational palliative care programmes and policy guiding HCA practice.

(2)  A series of semi-structured interviews with a p[urpisve sample of HCAs, nursing managers and other staff (N=25-30) to gather information on their understanding of ACP, their roles within ACP and their experience of ACP in practice.

(3)  An online survey with hospice HCAs across the UK (n=150) will determine the knowledge, attitude and skills needed, preferred learning styles, and delivery modes as well as reviewing the barriers and facilitators associated with the provision of and educational intervention.

Phase 2: Co-production intervention development:

(1)  Informed by phase 1 co-design group with representation of key stakeholders (AIIHPC, PCRS UK) will be invited to take part in a series of facilitated workshops (n=3-6). This will obtain feedback the key components of the educational intervention, delivery model and mechanisms to access effectiveness.

(2)  We will consult a range of stakeholders including patients and caregivers, HCAs, RNS and managers of hospices to refine the programme theory, ensuring that the intervention components are acceptable, implementable, and fit for purpose.

Team: The team will be led by Dr Hasson and supported by two academic/ clinical experts in palliative care and advance care planning (Prof McIlfatrick & Dr Beck). Dr Slater a quantitative methodological expert will provide direct guidance on the conduct and analysis of the survey and the analysis of the workshop data. 

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