Indian Journal of Palliative Care
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 ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 6--10

Evaluation of knowledge among Interns in a medical college regarding palliative care in people living with HIV/AIDS and the impact of a structured intervention


1 Department of Community Medicine, Prathima Institute of Medical Sciences, Nagunur, Karimnagar, Andhra Pradesh, India
2 Department of Internal Medicine, Prathima Institute of Medical Sciences, Nagunur, Karimnagar, Andhra Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Sameer Valsangkar
Department of Community Medicine, Prathima Institute of Medical Sciences, Nagunur, Karimnagar, Andhra Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0973-1075.78443

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Background: The evolving nature of palliative care and its renewed role in people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in the post-HAART (highly active anti-retroviral therapy) era warrants an evaluation of the present curriculum in medical under graduates. Objectives: The objectives are (1) to measure the existing knowledge regarding palliative care and its application to PLWHA among medical interns and (2) to measure the impact of a structured intervention on knowledge dimensions. Design and Setting: Interventional repeated measures study. Materials and Methods: A convenience sample of 106 interns in the medical college completed a pre-test assessment and a post-test assessment following a structured intervention for evaluation and comparison of knowledge over three dimensions which were (1) knowledge of palliative care and its application in PLWHA, (2) medical symptoms in PLWHA requiring palliative care and (3) psychosocial needs in PLWHA requiring palliative care. Results: The mean scores on knowledge showed a consistent increase after the structured intervention and Student's t-test was significant across three dimensions of knowledge of palliative care and its application (t=9.12, P value <0.001), medical symptoms in PLWHA requiring palliative care (t=12.72, P value <0.001) and psychosocial needs in PLWHA (t=11.14, P value <0.001). Conclusion: In spite of the unique challenges presented by the varying course of illness in PLWHA and the variety of needs on the medical, psychosocial and family dimensions, a structured approach and an integrated course curriculum involving principles of both primary and palliative care principles will improve the efficiency of the undergraduate medical education program and enable delivery of effective palliative care interventions and improve quality of life in PLWHA.






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