Vol 14, No 2 (2020)
Research paper
Published online: 2020-04-27

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Postgraduate palliative care education and curricular issues in Central Asia, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe: Results from a quantitative study

Andreas Stähli1, Stephanie Stiel2, Piret Paal3, Stefan Lorenzl4, Frank Elsner5
Palliat Med Pract 2020;14(2):81-88.


Introduction. The WHO Europe Office, together with the European Association for Palliative Care, is
supporting the development of an interdisciplinary core curriculum for health care professionals in the
European Region, which is to be given to the countries as a recommendation.
Material and methods. Between April and September 2018, a research journey to Central Asia, Eastern
and South-Eastern Europe took place. It covered two main tasks: collecting quantitative data using a survey
and collecting qualitative data by conducting on-site interviews. This article contains the quantitative
part. Experts in palliative care education in 23 countries were invited to fill out a questionnaire. The data
received from 23 questions were statistically evaluated by IBM SPSS Statistics 25.
Results. 27 surveys received from 21 countries were evaluated. In one-third of the surveyed countries, there
is still no postgraduate training in palliative care. The main barriers to the development of educational work
are limited political interest, followed by limited educational structures, missing curricula, lack of trainers
and the limited healthcare system. For 92.6% of all respondents, a WHO-recommended interdisciplinary
postgraduate core curriculum would help promote palliative care in their country.
Conclusion. There is a high need for postgraduate education in general and the intended core curriculum
in particular. The results of the survey, along with those from the interviews in a later second part of the
publication, are essential for the development of a core curriculum.

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