Closing the mental health treatment gap in palliative care

Julianne Whyte, Janelle Thomas, Kirsty Smith, Janelle Wheat

Research output: Other contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Research shows there is a skills gap in the health workforce when it comes to identifying and addressing palliative patients’ mental health (MH) concerns. The ‘Listen Acknowledge Respond’ (LAR) project was established to fill this gap by developing and delivering training for healthcare professionals (HCP) to address the MH needs of those living with dying, as well as investigating the impact of the training on HCP’s practice.

All HCP registered for the LAR 2-day workshops were invited to complete an online survey prior to commencing training. Participants were surveyed again at 3-, 6- and 9-months post-training to compare changes in self-reported confidence and frequency of use of MH screening and therapeutic tools.

Pre-training surveys show more than 57% of respondents work in regional, rural and remote areas. Pre-training, 74% of all HCP regularly screened for MH issues, which increased to 91% 3-months post-training. Pre-training, 40% of respondents were not confident applying the two most commonly used diagnostic tools, and this decreased to one third in surveys 3-months after training. Strengths-focus is the most commonly used therapeutic approach both before training (59% of respondents) and 3-months after (76% of respondents), and confidence in using this therapy increased from 63% in pre-training surveys to 80% 3-months after training.

Data from surveys 6- and 9-months after training are still being collected, however initial responses show HCP’s self-reported knowledge, skills and confidence in using MH tools and therapies has increased significantly since participating in the LAR training. This presentation will provide an overview of survey and interview findings conducted pre-training and 3-, 6- and 9-months post-training.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 2017
Event9th Australian Rural and Remote Health Symposium - Albury, Australia
Duration: 11 Oct 201713 Oct 2017


Conference9th Australian Rural and Remote Health Symposium
Abbreviated titleImpacts and outcomes - putting people first
Internet address


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