Korean J Hosp Palliat Care.  2012 Mar;15(1):30-35.

Awareness and Attitude Change after End-of-Life Care Education for Medical Students

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Ewha Womans University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. snlee@ewha.ac.kr

Abstract

PURPOSE
Most medical schools in Korea do not provide adequate education in end-of-life care. This study was designed to illustrate the need to improve end-of-life care education and to assess the effect of the education on fourth-year medical students' awareness and attitude towards hospice and palliative care for terminally ill patients.
METHODS
One hundred sixty six fourth-year medical students were surveyed with questionnaires on end-of-life care before and after they received the education.
RESULTS
Before receiving the education, students most frequently answered "at the end of life" (33.6%) was appropriate time to write an advance medical directive. After the education, the most frequent answer was "in healthy status" (58.7%). More students agreed to withholding or withdrawing futile life-sustaining treatment increased after the education (48.1% vs. 92.5% (P<0.001) for cardiopulmonary resuscitation, 38.3% vs. 92.5% (P<0.001) for intubation and mechanical ventilation, 39.1% vs. 85.8% (P<0.001) for inotropics, 60.9% vs. 94.8% (P<0.001) for dialysis and 27.8% vs. 56.0% (P<0.001) for total parenteral nutrition). Significantly more students opposed euthanasia after the education (46.6% vs. 82.1%, P<0.001). All students agreed to the need for education in end-of-life care.
CONCLUSION
After reflecting on the meaning of death through the end-of-life care education, most students recognized the need for the education. The education brought remarkable changes in students' awareness and attitude towards patients at the end of life. We suggest end-of-life care education should be included in the regular curriculum of all medical schools in Korea.

Keyword

Terminal care; Curriculum; Hospice care; Palliative care

MeSH Terms

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
Curriculum
Dialysis
Euthanasia
Hospice Care
Hospices
Humans
Intubation
Korea
Palliative Care
Respiration, Artificial
Schools, Medical
Students, Medical
Terminal Care
Terminally Ill
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