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CareSearch palliative care knowledge network (or more simply CareSearch) is a suite of palliative care information and resources available at www.caresearch.com.au. The website is designed to support health professionals involved in providing palliative care and those needing palliative care and their families and friends.
Browsing CareSearch by Author "Miller-Lewis, Lauren"
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ItemCan Exposure to Online Conversations About Death and Dying Influence Death Competence? An Exploratory Study Within an Australian Massive Open Online Course(Sage Journals, 2018-03-26) Miller-Lewis, Lauren ; Tieman, Jennifer ; Rawlings, Deb ; Parker, Deborah ; Sanderson, Christine RuthA Massive Open Online Course, Dying2Learn, was designed to foster community death conversations and strengthen community awareness of palliative care and death as a normal process. This exploratory study used a pre–post prospective design to determine if participation in Dying2Learn and exposure to online conversations about death and dying resulted in any significant influence on death competence in 134 participants who completed the Coping-with-Death-Scale both at the beginning and end of the course in 2016. Death competence refers to a range of attitudes and capabilities people have for dealing with death. Results at the end of the course indicated that engagement in Dying2Learn led to significant improvements in death competence scores over time (medium-to-large effect size). The positive impact was greater for those who completed more of the course, and effectiveness did not depend on sociodemographic characteristics. In conclusion, this study found that an online learning platform in the form of a Massive Open Online Course could engage community members in meaningful social discussion about death and dying, and that exposure to these conversations was beneficial for all participants regardless of previous exposure to death. Further exploration is required to determine whether this change in death competence will have an impact on participant’s behavior in the community regarding death conversations and preparedness.
ItemCorrelates of perceived death competence: What role does meaning-in-life and quality-of-life play?(Cambridge University Press, 2019-01-02) Miller-Lewis, Lauren ; Tieman, Jennifer ; Rawlings, Deb ; Sanderson, Christine Ruth ; Parker, DeborahObjective Understanding factors that are associated with more adaptive death attitudes and competencies can inspire future health-promoting palliative care strategies and inform approaches to training and development for health professionals. The potential importance of meaning, purpose, quality, and values in life for promoting adaptive death attitudes has been highlighted, but there is limited research in this area, particularly in relation to death competence. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to develop an understanding of demographic and life-related factors associated with perceived death competence, such as meaning in life and quality of life. Method During the course enrollment period of a Massive-Online-Open-Course about death and dying, 277 participants completed questionnaires on death competence, meaning in life, quality of life, and sociodemographic background. Result Findings indicated that greater presence of meaning in life, quality of life, age, death experience, and carer experience were each statistically significant unique predictors of death competence scores. Life-related variables were more strongly associated with death competence than demographic variables. Bereavement experience and experience caring for the dying was associated with greater death competence, but there were no differences on death competence between health professionals and the general community. Above all other factors, the presence of meaning in life was the strongest predictor of higher perceived competence in coping with death. Significance of results The findings demonstrate important interconnections between our attitudes about life and death. Knowledge of factors associated with poorer death competence may help identify those at risk of greater distress when facing death, and might prove useful additions to bereavement risk assessments. Understanding factors associated with greater death competence in health professionals and volunteers may help predict or prevent burnout and compassion fatigue, and help identify who would benefit from additional training and support. Future longitudinal studies including both health professionals and the general community are needed to determine the effect adaptive attitudes toward meaning in life can potentially have on bolstering subsequent adaptive coping and competence regarding death and dying.