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Survey of Palliative Care Concepts Among Medical Students and Interns in Austria: A Comparison of the Old and the New curriculum of the Medical University of Vienna

Author(s): G. Pohl | C. Marosi | K. Dieckmann | G. Goldner | K. Elandt | M. Hassler | H. Ludwig | H. Watzke

Journal: Palliative Care : Research and Treatment
ISSN 1178-2242

Volume: 2;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Keywords: palliative care | students | interns | new curriculum | survey

Background: To improve the level of awareness in palliative care concepts, the new curriculum at the University of Vienna includes sixteen hours of palliative care education.The old curriculum did not include palliative care education.Aim: To compare the level of awareness in palliative care concepts among 4th year students of the new curriculum of the Medical University of Vienna with interns who finished their studies in the old curriculum. Materials and methods: 440 medical students in their 4th year and 149 interns participated in a survey study. Data were collected after the survey and the responses were analyzed.Results: Data analysis consists of completed survey obtained from 83% and 67% of the students and interns. We observed that students reported higher theoretical knowledge of palliative care concepts as compared to interns, whereas interns were better in performing practical aspects of palliative care. A significant percentage of students and interns would like to learn more about palliative care in their curriculum, although this was more present among interns (72.7% students and 92.6% interns, p 0.0001, respectively).Conclusion: Although palliative care education is already included in a compulsory manner in the new curriculum of the Medical University of Vienna, almost two third of all students would support more implementation of palliative care issues throughout the curriculum. To further improve attitudes and skills towards patients at end of life, palliative care education should be augmented in the new curriculum.
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