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Palliative Care Communication: Outcomes From COMFORT™, a Train-the-Trainer Course for Providers

Elaine Wittenberg
Joy Goldsmith
Betty Ferrell
Haley Buller
Yesenia Mendoza
Sandra L. Ragan
CJON 2020, 24(1), E1-E6 DOI: 10.1188/20.CJON.E1-E6

Background: With increasing support for the integration of palliative care and standard oncology, communication training programs are needed to teach oncology nurses and other providers about palliative care communication.

Objectives: This study reports on the outcomes of COMFORTTM SM Communication for Oncology Nurses, a train-the-trainer communication course to educate oncology nurses about palliative care communication and improve patient-centered communication and cancer care.

Methods: 355 oncology nurses attended the two-day course. This study used 6- and 12-month follow-up data from nurses who provided feedback on the progress of these goals.

Findings: Nurses taught an additional 9,720 oncology providers, conducted needs assessments of communication processes, and initiated institutionwide palliative care communication training. Barriers to completing outcome goals included a lack of institutional support, specifically an absence of leadership, financial backing, and dedicated time.

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