An instrument to assess the education needs of nursing assistants within a palliative approach in residential aged care facilities

Journal article


Karacsony, Sara, Good, Anthony, Chang, Esther, Johnson, Amanda and Edenborough, Michel. (2019) An instrument to assess the education needs of nursing assistants within a palliative approach in residential aged care facilities. BMC Palliative Care. 18, pp. 1 - 15. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12904-019-0447-0
AuthorsKaracsony, Sara, Good, Anthony, Chang, Esther, Johnson, Amanda and Edenborough, Michel
Abstract

Background: Providing quality palliative care in residential aged care facilities (RACFs) (aged care homes) is a high priority for ageing populations worldwide. Older people admitted to these facilities have palliative care needs. Nursing assistants (however termed) are the least qualified staff and provide most of the direct care. They have an important role at the frontline of care spending more time with residents than any other care provider but have been found to lack the necessary knowledge and skills to provide palliative care. The level of competence of this workforce to provide palliative care requires evaluation using a valid and reliable instrument designed for nursing assistants’ level of education and the responsibilities and practices of their role. Method: The overall study purpose was to develop and test an instrument capable of evaluating the knowledge, skills and attitudes of nursing assistants within a palliative approach in RACFs. Development consisted of a fourphase mixed-methods sequential design. In this paper, the results and key findings following psychometric testing of the instrument in Phase 4 is reported using data collected from a random sample of 17 RACFs and 348 nursing assistants in the Greater Sydney region. Study hypotheses were tested to confirm discriminative validity and establish the utility of the instrument in both research and training assessment. Results: Individual item properties were analysed for difficulty, discrimination and item-total correlations. Discriminative and structural validity, and internal consistency and test-retest reliability were demonstrated. Three separate questionnaires comprising 40 items were finalised: The Palliative Approach for Nursing Assistants (PANA)_Knowledge Questionnaire (17 items), the PANA_Skills Questionnaire (13 items) and the PANA_Attitudes Questionnaire (10 items). Conclusions: This study provides preliminary evidence for the validity and reliability of three new questionnaires that demonstrate sensitivity for nursing assistants’ level of education and required knowledge, skills and attitudes for providing a palliative approach. Implications for practice include the development of palliative care competencies through structured education and training across this workforce, and ongoing professional development opportunities for nursing assistants, especially for those with the longest tenure.

KeywordsNursing assistants; Palliative approach; Residential aged care; Knowledge; Skills; Attitudes; Instrument; Psychometry
Year2019
JournalBMC Palliative Care
Journal citation18, pp. 1 - 15
PublisherBiomed Central Ltd
ISSN1472-684X
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1186/s12904-019-0447-0
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85069781818
Open accessOpen access
Page range1 - 15
Research GroupSchool of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine
Publisher's version
License
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
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