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A systematic review of online cancer and palliative care education for nurses and allied health professionals (2000- 2011)

Campbell, Karen; Williams, Anne; McBride, Sheila; Matthews-Smith, Gerri


Anne Williams

Sheila McBride


Background/Purpose: Embedding online learning within higher education can providing engaging, cost-effective, interactive, and flexible education. By evaluating the impact, outcomes and pedagogical influence of cancer and online palliative care education, future educational interventions and course design can be shaped and delivered to better meet learner, educational, health care consumer and institutional needs. Objectives were:- to review the nature and effectiveness of online cancer and palliative care education for nurses and allied health professionals; To identify theory underpinning the education; to identify outcome measures used to evaluate; to determine the effectiveness of online cancer and palliative nursing and allied health professional education. Methods: The review was conducted using Joanna Briggs Institute methodology. A data extraction tool previously used by two of the authors was adapted for use by the reviewers. An adapted version of Kirkpatrick (1967, see Johnson et al, 2011) was used to evaluate the studies included. Results: 23 papers were selected. Results will be presented under the sub-headings of scope and nature of retrieved studies, theory underpinning retrieved studies, outcome measures used to evaluate online cancer and palliative care education, effectiveness of online education. A sparse literature was revealed with little pattern or discernible trend. Theory is not always employed. There is an absence of longitudinal studies to examine impact; a lack of reliability and/or validity testing of measures, a lack of experimental designs taking account of power and few attempts to mitigate bias. Discussion: Changes in subjects’ values and attitudes, knowledge and skills are reported for small groups educated over a wide geographical and/or rural area. Evidence for effectiveness is weak, offering insights rather than objective evidence. Implications: More educational research is needed to guide effective online cancer and palliative care education, underpinned by theory, and using rigorous methods to build research quality. Relation to Theme: Online cancer education has the potential to facilitate learning across geographical and professional boundaries. It is essential that strong evidence is developed as a basis for its use in cancer and palliative care education.Learning Objectives: The participant will be able to evaluate the scope of online cancer and palliative care education published between 2000 and 2011; identify the effectiveness of published studies; and analyse weaknesses that should be addressed in future studies.

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Conference Name International Cancer Education Conference
Start Date Oct 22, 2014
End Date Oct 25, 2014
Publication Date 2014
Deposit Date May 6, 2015
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Cancer care; palliative care; nurse education; embedded online learning; systematic review;
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