METHODS: Participants attended the workshop and completed pre- (Time 1) and post-workshop (Time 2) questionnaires consisting of validated measures exploring attitudes towards dementia and older people more broadly.
RESULTS: A total of 97 students were recruited. Attitudes towards people with dementia showed significant positive changes between Time 1 and Time 2, whereas no differences were found for attitudes towards older people.
CONCLUSIONS: As medical and pharmacy students develop theoretical knowledge, practical skills and professional attitudes during their undergraduate studies, it is important for students to also learn about the humanistic side of diseases and conditions through workshops such as the one presented here. Further research should now be conducted to consider how Dementia Detectives can be delivered to non-healthcare students and what the barriers and facilitators to wider delivery are.
OBJECTIVE: This study aims to examine and contrast the perceptions of MS patients, neurologists, and palliative care physicians towards providing palliative care for patients with MS in Malaysia.
METHODS: 12 MS patients, 5 neurologists, and 5 palliative care physicians participated in this qualitative study. Each participant took part in a semi-structured interview. The interviews were transcribed verbatim, and analysed using an iterative thematic analysis approach.
RESULTS: Patients and neurologists mostly associated palliative care with the end-of-life and struggled to understand the need for palliative care in MS. Another barrier was the lack of understanding about the palliative care needs of MS patients. Palliative care physicians also identified the scarcity of resources and their lack of experience with MS as barriers. The current referral-based care pathway itself was found to be a barrier to the provision of palliative care.
CONCLUSIONS: MS patients in Malaysia face several barriers in accessing palliative care. Overcoming these barriers will require improving the shared understanding of palliative care and its role in MS. The existing care pathway also needs to be reformed to ensure that it improves access to palliative care for MS patients.