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Rehabilitation Training for Home-Based Palliative Care Community Health Workers: A Pilot Study
Progress in Palliative Care
  • Kathryn C. Nesbit, University of the Pacific
  • Suave Gombwa, St Gabriel’s Hospital
  • Alexander Ngalande, St Gabriel’s Hospital
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Introduction: Community health workers are an essential part of the delivery of palliative care in the resource-limited country of Malawi. The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate a training programme in rehabilitation for home-based palliative community health workers.Methods: The programme was a 3-day training in rehabilitation for palliative care for 20 community health workers at St Gabriel's, a rural referral hospital in Malawi. A pre- and post- knowledge test, a skills competency check, ongoing formative assessment, observations of skills in the home visit, and reporting of skills used in the village were used to evaluate the training programme.Results: Participants (n = 20) showed significantly greater knowledge on the post-test (M = 7.35, SE = 0.406) than on the pre-test (M = 4.25, SE = 0.422, t (19) =−7.566, P = 0.000). Competency in all 22 physical therapy skills was demonstrated by 100% of the participants (n = 20). During the formative assessment and observations during the 3-day programme, participants were able to use all of the 22 physical therapy skills. At 2-week post-training, the participants surveyed (n = 14) reported using 21 of 22 physical therapy skills and teaching all 21 of the skills used to the caregiver of the patient. Discussion: This study demonstrated the knowledge and skills learned in a training programme with lecture, practice sessions and application components in a resource-limited setting. The training programme provides a basis for future training and curriculum development for palliative care community health workers.
Citation Information
Kathryn C. Nesbit, Suave Gombwa and Alexander Ngalande. "Rehabilitation Training for Home-Based Palliative Care Community Health Workers: A Pilot Study" Progress in Palliative Care Vol. 23 Iss. 5 (2015) p. 281 - 287 ISSN: 0969-9260
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