Research Article
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Published Online: 28 July 2015

Development and Validation of a Set of Palliative Medicine Entrustable Professional Activities: Findings from a Mixed Methods Study

Publication: Journal of Palliative Medicine
Volume 18, Issue Number 8


Background: Entrustable professional activities (EPAs) are routine tasks considered essential to a professional practice. An EPA can serve as a performance-based outcome that a clinical supervisor would progressively entrust a learner to perform.
Objective: Our aim was to identify, develop, and validate a set of EPAs for the palliative medicine discipline.
Methods: The design was a sequential qualitative and quantitative mixed methods study. A working group was convened to develop a set of EPAs. Focus groups and surveys were used for validation purposes. Palliative medicine educators and content experts from across Canada participated in both the working group as well as the focus groups. Attendees of the 2014 Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians (CSPCP) annual conference completed surveys. A questionnaire was used to collect survey participant sociodemographic, clinical, and academic information along with ratings of the importance of the EPAs individually and collectively. Cronbach's alpha examined internal consistency of the set of EPAs.
Results: Focus group participants strongly endorsed the 12 EPAs. Virtually all survey participants rated the individual EPAs as being “fairly/very important” (range 94% to 100%). Of the participants, 97% agreed that residents able to perform the set of EPAs would be practicing palliative medicine and 87% indicated strong agreement that this collective set of EPAs captures activities that all palliative medicine physicians must be able to perform. A Cronbach's alpha of 0.841 confirmed good internal consistency.
Conclusions: Near uniform agreement from a national group of palliative medicine physicians provides strong validation for the set of 12 EPAs.

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Published In

cover image Journal of Palliative Medicine
Journal of Palliative Medicine
Volume 18Issue Number 8August 2015
Pages: 682 - 690
PubMed: 26061030


Published in print: August 2015
Published online: 28 July 2015
Published ahead of print: 10 June 2015
Accepted: 2 May 2015


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Jeff Myers
Division of Palliative Care, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Paul Krueger
Department of Family Medicine, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Fiona Webster
Department of Family Medicine, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
James Downar
Division of Palliative Care, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Leonie Herx
University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Christa Jeney
Division of Palliative Care, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Doreen Oneschuk
University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Cori Schroder
Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
Giovanna Sirianni
Division of Palliative Care, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Dori Seccareccia
Division of Palliative Care, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Tara Tucker
University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Alan Taniguchi
McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.


Address correspondence to:Jeff Myers, MD2075 Bayview Avenue, Room H336Toronto, OntarioCanada, M4N 3M5
E-mail: [email protected]

Author Disclosure Statement

No competing financial interests exist.

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