Communication in Palliative Care: Education of Health Professionals in Brazil

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Monica Martins Trovo Araújo, RN
Escola de Enfermagem, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

Learning Objective 1: To know a proposal of training in interpersonal communication developed in Brazil for health professionals who work with patients under palliative care.

Learning Objective 2: To identify the improvement of communication skills of palliative nurses after the realization of the proposed training.

Purpose: To develop and to validate a programme of training in interpersonal communication in palliative care for health professionals.

Methods: After literature review, there were adopted the theoretical referential in  interpersonal communication by Silva(1),  in death and dying process by Kübler-Ross (2) and in palliative care from WHO (3). In May 2008, the programme was applied  for 18 nurses from São Paulo city, Brazil. The sample  were constituted by convenience, in accordance with the number of people interested in participating of the programme. A questionnaire was applied before and after the training, aiming to check the assimilation of the content.

Results: There was conceived a 12 hours programme of training,  with 3 modules of 4 hours. The module I detaches Basic Concepts in Communication, the module II treats the Interpersonal Communication in Palliative Care and the module III boards the Communication of  Bad News. There was perception of improvement in communication skills  after the training for two thirds of the participants and  increase in the rate of hit to the questions proposed in  half of the subjects. Some therapeutic communication strategies had their quotation increased after the training: listening (69,3 %), touch (53,8 %), demonstration of interest / empathy with the body language (46,2 %), clarity and objectivity in verbal communication (46,1 %), verbal reaffirmation of availability and non-desertion (38,5 %), more frequent presence (15,4 %).

Conclusion: The proposal appeared efficient for the studied population and it has been applied to professionals of teams of palliative care, with subsequent analysis of impact.
References: 1. Silva MJP. Comunicação tem remédio. São Paulo: Gente; 1996.   2. Kübler-Ross E. Sobre a morte e o morrer. São Paulo: Martins Fontes; 2002.  3. World Health Organization (WHO). Definition of Palliative Care [on line]. Disponível em: palliative/definition.