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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 89

of 'Palliative care: Issues in the intensive care unit in adults'

Coping with death and dying on a neurology inpatient service: death rounds as an educational initiative for residents.
Khot S, Billings M, Owens D, Longstreth WT Jr
Arch Neurol. 2011 Nov;68(11):1395-7.
BACKGROUND: Residents in neurology may feel unprepared to care for dying patients. We developed Death Rounds to provide emotional support and end-of-life care teaching for residents caring for dying patients on the inpatient neurology service. Death Rounds are monthly 1-hour clinical case discussions where residents identify issues through shared experiences.
OBJECTIVE: To survey neurology residents' perceptions of Death Rounds with respect to end-of-life care teaching and emotional support. Design, Setting, and
PARTICIPANTS: We conducted an electronic survey of all (n = 26) neurology residents and recent residency graduates at the University of Washington 2 years after instituting monthly Death Rounds. Main Outcome Measure The survey consisted of 10 questions examining residents' perceptions of the extent to which Death Rounds provided emotional support and end-of-life care teaching. We dichotomized responses to statements about Death Rounds as agree or disagree.
RESULTS: All 26 residents responded to the survey and attended at least 1 Death Rounds session. More than half of residents attended more than 3 sessions. Residents agreed that Death Rounds helped them cope with dying patients (17 residents [65%]), delivered closure for the team (16 residents [61%]), and provided emotional support, more for the team (18 residents [69%]) than the individual (10 residents [38%]). Most residents felt that Death Rounds provided useful teaching about end-of-life care (18 residents [69%]), and they were satisfied overall with Death Rounds (16 residents [61%]).
CONCLUSIONS: Death Rounds afford an opportunity for physicians-in-training to process as a group their feelings, intense emotions, and insecurities while learning from the dying process. In our inpatient neurology service, most residents found it a rewarding and valuable experience.
Department of Neurology, University of Washington, 325 Ninth Ave, Box 359775, Seattle, WA 98104, USA. skhot@uw.edu