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Training Health Care Practitioners to Include Family Caregivers With Web-Based Learning Modules.

Sperber N, Delgado R, Barrett R, Boucher N, Christensen L, McKenna K, Peacock K, Shepherd-Banigan M, Ince P, Whitaker C. Training Health Care Practitioners to Include Family Caregivers With Web-Based Learning Modules. The Permanente journal. 2023 Mar 15; 27(1):28-35.

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Background Caregivers play a key role in supporting patient health; however, they have largely been excluded from participating in health care teams. This paper describes development and evaluation of web-based training for health care professionals about including family caregivers, implemented within the Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Health Administration. Systematically training health care professionals constitutes a critical step toward shifting to a culture of purposefully and effectively utilizing and supporting family caregivers for better patient and health system outcomes. Methods Module development included Department of Veterans Affairs health care stakeholders and consisted of preliminary research and a design approach to set the framework, followed by iterative, collaborative team processes to write the content. Evaluation included pre- and postassessments of knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs. Results Overall, 154 health professionals completed pretest questions and 63 additionally completed the posttest. There was no observable change in knowledge. However, participants indicated a perceived desire and need for practicing inclusive care as well as an increase in self-efficacy (belief in their ability to accomplish a task successfully under certain conditions). Conclusion This project demonstrates the feasibility of developing web-based training to improve the beliefs and attitudes of health care professionals about inclusive care. Training constitutes one step toward shifting to a culture of inclusive care, and research should identify longer-term effects and other evidence-based interventions.

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