The authors examined psychiatric residents' attitudes, perceived preparedness, experiences, and needs in end-of-life care education. They also examined how residents conceptualized good end-of-life care and dignity.
The authors conducted an electronic survey of 116 psychiatric residents at the University of Toronto. The survey had a mix of qualitative and quantitative questions.
Eighty-two of 116 invited psychiatric residents participated for a response rate of 71%. With favorable attitudes, residents felt least prepared in existential, spiritual, cultural, and some psychological aspects of caring for dying patients. Trainees conceptualized dignity at the end of life in a way very similar to that of patients, including concerns of the mind, body, soul, relationships, and autonomy. Residents desired more longitudinal, contextualized training, particularly in the psychosocial, existential, and spiritual aspects of care.
This is the first study to examine the end-of-life educational experience of psychiatric residents. Despite conceptualizing quality care and the construct of dignity similarly to dying patients, psychiatric residents feel poorly prepared to deliver such care, particularly the nonphysical aspects of caring for the dying. These results will inform curriculum development in end-of-life care for psychiatric residents, a complex area now considered a core competency.
In Sweden, individuals affected by severe stroke are treated in specialized stroke units. In these units, patients are attended by a multiprofessional team with a focus on care in the acute phase of stroke, rehabilitation phase, and palliative phase. Caring for patients with such a large variety in condition and symptoms might be an extra challenge for the team. Today, there is a lack of knowledge in team experiences of the dilemmas that appear and the consequences that emerge. Therefore, the purpose of this article was to study ethical dilemmas, different approaches, and what consequences they had among healthcare professionals working with the dying patients with stroke in acute stroke units. Forty-one healthcare professionals working in a stroke team were interviewed either in focus groups or individually. The data were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using content analysis. The ethical dilemmas that appeared were depending on "nondecisions" about palliative care or discontinuation of treatments. The lack of decision made the team members act based on their own individual skills, because of the absence of common communication tools. When a decision was made, the healthcare professionals had "problems holding to the decision." The devised and applied plans could be revalued, which was described as a setback to nondecisions again. The underlying problem and theme was "communication barriers," a consequence related to the absence of common skills and consensus among the value system. This study highlights the importance of palliative care knowledge and skills, even for patients experiencing severe stroke. To make a decision and to hold on to that is a presupposition in creating a credible care plan. However, implementing a common set of values based on palliative care with symptom control and quality of life might minimize the risk of the communication barrier that may arise and increases the ability to create a healthcare that is meaningful and dignified.
A wide variety of bioethical themes have recently been debated and researched in Sweden, including genetic screening, HPV vaccination strategies, end-of-life care, injustices and priority setting in healthcare, dual-use research, and the never-ending story of scientific fraud. Also, there are some new events related to Swedish biobanking that might be of general interest. Here we will concentrate on four themes: end-of-life care, dual-use research, scientific fraud, and biobanking.