Presented by: Janelle Wheat
The issue of mental health in terminally ill and palliative patients is well-documented, and research shows there is a skills gap in the health workforce who care for these patients when it comes to identifying and addressing patients’ mental health concerns. The ‘Listen Acknowledge Respond’ research project was established to fill this gap by developing and delivering training for healthcare professionals to address the mental health needs of those living with dying, as well as investigating the impact of the training on healthcare professionals’ practice. This presentation will provide an overview of the Listen Acknowledge Respond project, including the development and delivery of free education programs for healthcare professionals who work in palliative care health services in metropolitan, regional and rural settings throughout Australia, as well as detail the measures used to evaluate the effectiveness and outcomes of the education programs. Participants were invited to complete surveys (online or paper-based) and phone interviews before training and at 3, 6 and 9 months post-training. Surveys and interviews were designed to record healthcare professionals’ self-reported knowledge, skills and confidence in using mental health tools and therapies before participating in training; and measure the changes in these attributes at set time periods after the specific training to address the mental health needs of their patients and families.