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Review
, 16 (1), 20-30

Undergraduate Curricula in Palliative Medicine: A Systematic Analysis Based on the Palliative Education Assessment Tool

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Review

Undergraduate Curricula in Palliative Medicine: A Systematic Analysis Based on the Palliative Education Assessment Tool

Christine Schiessl et al. J Palliat Med.

Abstract

Background: By law in 2013, palliative medicine will be integrated into the undergraduate curriculum as part of a mandatory training program and examinations at German medical schools. For this reason a national curriculum in palliative medicine has to be developed.

Aim: The aim of this study was to analyze international undergraduate curricula in palliative medicine, and thus support further curriculum development in Germany.

Design: Available international curricula were sought through general search engines (Google, Medline/Pubmed) in German and/or the English language. We used the palliative care education assessment tool (PEAT) for analysis of available curricula. The PEAT comprises 7 domains, and 83 objectives.

Results: We identified 17 international undergraduate curricula on palliative medicine. There was a wide variation in curricular design. Mapping the curricula, the results showed that five of the seven PEAT domains were represented in the curricula retrieved. Sixteen objectives were included in more than 75% and 46 objectives in up to 50% of the curricula, respectively. Eighteen objectives were included in less than 25% of the curricula. Three PEAT objectives were absent in all curricula examined.

Conclusion: There is an overlap between objectives presented in the PEAT and in the curricula, suggesting that there are "core objectives" such as "respect for differing values," "bereavement process," and "use of opioids" which might be mandatory for undergraduate palliative medical education.

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