gms | German Medical Science

27th German Cancer Congress Berlin 2006

German Cancer Society (Frankfurt/M.)

22. - 26.03.2006, Berlin

Experiences in Palliative Care in German General Practitioners

Meeting Abstract

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  • corresponding author presenting/speaker Werner Freier - Internistische Praxis, Neustadt/Sachsen
  • Jens Papke - Internistische Praxis, Neustadt/Sachsen

27. Deutscher Krebskongress. Berlin, 22.-26.03.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. DocPO543

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: March 20, 2006

© 2006 Freier et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Background: To enable final stage oncological patients to rest at home under an adequate palliative symptom control a well educated palliative care team is necessary. The purpose of this study was to determine how education in palliative care is provided in german general practitioners.

Methods: Using a standardized questionnaire participants of courses in palliative care have been explored. Data of their personal education in palliative care have been collected and evaluated.

Results: During their studys at university no participant learned anything about palliative care. Experience in this context has been achieved from own mistakes (31%); in courses (28%) , by on-the-job training (20%) or from dying of a relative (20%). At their first own experiences they had an education status of: student (16%), assistant physician, private practitioner (26%) or consultant (5%).

Conclusion: The curriculum of german medical students didn´t include any items of palliative care. Due to these facts german physicians improved their knowledge in palliatve care later as assistant physician or as practitioner. Alarming is that improvement in palliative care is in 30% associated with own mistakes. Learning by mistakes is the most common kind of palliative care education. On the initiative of the german palliative society (DGP) palliative care is now included in medical students curriculum.

Table 1 [Tab. 1]