Educating Healthcare Providers and Hospital Staff about Geriatrics and Shared Decision-Making with Older Adult Oncology Patients: Evaluation of an Online Program

Jeannine Nonaillada, Fordham University

Abstract

The aging population is on the rise, and the amount of adults over the age of 65 is expected to increase to one out of five. This will place a high demand for utilization of healthcare services. Hence, there is a growing need for healthcare providers (HCPs) and non-professional hospital staff to be competent in serving this population. This study employed administration of repeated measures with a Pre-test, Post-test, and Follow-up to test the efficacy of educational modules and their influence on knowledge and attitudes about aging and communicating with older adults, and knowledge, attitudes, and confidence with shared decision-making with older adults with cancer. The theoretical framework for Adult Learning Theory (ALT) set forth by Malcolm Knowles is applicable to this study. ^ A longitudinal design was used to test two educational modules: Geriatrics 101 and Shared Decision-Making. The sample of ancillary HCPs and non-professional hospital staff (N at Baseline = 197) viewed the Geriatrics 101 module. The sample of physicians, nurses, and social workers (N at Baseline = 200) viewed both the Geriatrics 101 module and the Shared Decision-Making module. A month after taking the Pre-test, participants then viewed the educational module, took the Post-test immediately after, with a Follow-up test completed two months later. Outcome measures included the Palmore Facts on Aging Quiz, Knowledge of Communicating with Older Adults, Refined Aging Semantic Differential, Knowledge of Shared Decision-Making, and both the Decision-Making and Confidence with Communicating subscales of the Palmore Health Alliance Resident Survey Instrument: Autonomy Preference Index. Results from the sample of ancillary HCPs and non-professional hospital staff suggest that the Geriatrics 101 module improved knowledge of aging, and that age, years since received professional degree, educational degree and job category were associated with knowledge of aging. Results from the sample of physicians, nurses and social workers suggest that the Geriatrics 101 and Shared Decision-Making module improved attitude toward older adults, knowledge of shared decision-making, and attitude toward shared decision-making, and that age, years since received professional degree, profession, prior education on communicating with older adults, and performance on the other study measures were associated with knowledge and attitudes of the physicians, nurses, and social workers. ^ Study findings suggest that geriatric education can influence knowledge and attitudes, and future research is needed to examine the impact of online educational modules on these outcomes. Practice implications include the lack of awareness among physicians, nurses and social workers about shared decision-making, which may suggest an imbalance of input from the patient and provider in 1:1 interactions, as well the need for leadership buy-in for implementation of geriatric education in the hospital setting. Policy implications include the scarcity of geriatric content in academic programs, and the need to extend geriatric training to both patient care providers and non-professional hospital staff in order to improve outcomes of older adults in the hospital setting for overall reduced cost of care. Additionally, heighted attention to how healthcare decisions are made between patient and provider will continue to be a focal point of examination in the United States with recent enactments of the Affordable Care Act, and education about shared decision-making is critical. ^ In conclusion, this pilot study may inform the implementation and evaluation of geriatric education in the hospital setting for both professional and non-professional staff, and the use of computer assisted instruction (CAI) to implement learning objectives for knowledge, attitude and confidence.^

Subject Area

Gerontology|Educational evaluation|Aging|Health education|Educational technology|Oncology

Recommended Citation

Nonaillada, Jeannine, "Educating Healthcare Providers and Hospital Staff about Geriatrics and Shared Decision-Making with Older Adult Oncology Patients: Evaluation of an Online Program" (2016). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI10153610.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI10153610

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