Citation Forbat L, Haraldsdottir E, Lewis M & Hepburn K (2016) Supporting the provision of palliative care in the home environment: a proof-of-concept single-arm trial of a PalliativE Carers Education Package (PrECEPt). BMJ Open, 6 (10), Art. No.: e012681. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2016-012681
Practical educational interventions for palliative carers are needed. Current supports frequently rely on carers travelling to a central venue to receive education. A substantial gap therefore exists around determining how high-quality relevant information can be delivered nationally, with limited cost implications, using educational methods that are acceptable to carers in palliative care. This study seeks to design and assess feasibility and acceptability of a distance-learning approach to educating carers.
This is an embedded mixed-method feasibility and acceptability study. It embeds an unblinded 1-arm pilot test, with subsequent qualitative interviews which will be used to inform the assessment of the intervention's acceptability and feasibility. The theoretical framework is self-efficacy theory, whereby we seek to impact carers' beliefs in their ability to carry out and succeed in caring tasks and situations. The educational materials focused on pain and nutrition/hydration will be developed in phase 1 with former carers (n=8) providing input into the content and style of materials. The educational package privileges adult-learning styles, recognising and responding to the learner's context including their learning needs, prior knowledge and motivations for engaging in education. The materials will be tested with up to 24 current carers.
Analysis will focus on determining recruitment processes for a full-scale study, data collection procedures/completion rates, queries directed to the hospice from carers involved in the feasibility work, mode of delivery and content of the materials. The primary outcome measure is self-efficacy, with other measures focused on caregiver preparedness and caregiving tasks, consequences and needs questionnaire. Adherence to educational components will also be collected and reported.
Ethics and dissemination
Ethical approval has been provided by the participating site, Calvary Healthcare, Canberra, reference 02–2016, and the Australian Catholic University. Results will be published in peer-reviewed journals, presented at conferences and a lay summary sent to participants.
Trial registration number
Journal BMJ Open: Volume 6, Issue 10
Forbat, Liz; Haraldsdottir, Erna; Lewis, Marsha; Hepburn, Ken