How we involved bereaved family caregivers in palliative care education


As palliative care coursework continues to proliferate within US medical education, novel curriculum approaches have included the use of cancer survivors and family caregivers. We included bereaved family caregivers in structured clinical teaching. Methods: First year students were exposed to a lecture about death and dying and then met with a bereaved caregiver in small groups of 1015 for a presentation about the caregiving experience, bereavement, and question and answer period. Substantial pre-planning was involved to recruit caregivers and arrange for classroom space. Results: Participation evoked caregiver anxiety but was resolved with adequate arrangement of the classroom and student introductions. Conclusions: Future implementation of bereaved caregivers in palliative coursework should include an appropriate follow-up phone call as well as recruiting more caregivers than necessary for the curriculum. © 2011 Informa UK Ltd.

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Medical Teacher