In November of 2018, the Council worked with the Wyoming Department of Health, AARP Wyoming, and the University of Wyoming Center on Aging to survey 336 individuals across the state including medical professionals, administrators, law enforcement officers, members of the clergy, and the public at large. Although work is still being conducted on this assessment, the Council is eager to share some of its initial findings.
1. Personal Experience
A major finding of the surveys conducted in November of 2018 concerned personal experience with palliative care. Nearly half (47%) of the participants surveyed by the Council had an experience with palliative care in their personal life. This is an important finding as it tells us that palliative care is an issue that affects a large portion of Wyoming’s population in some manner.
2. Access to information on Palliative Care
The Council’s surveys also investigated the ease of access to palliative care information for patients and members of the general public. The Council believes this to be an important indicator as there seems to be confusion as to what palliative care entails. Nearly fifty percent of respondents indicated that access to information on palliative care was either somewhat or extremely difficult to access. Less than a fourth of the participants surveyed found access to information on palliative care to be easy.
3. Health Care Training in Palliative Care
The surveys conducted by the Council also revealed that training for healthcare professionals in palliative care is a need in Wyoming. Fifty-five percent of health care professionals surveyed indicated that they have never attended a training on palliative care. However, an overwhelming majority of the health care professionals surveyed indicated an interest in palliative care, thus there seems to be a lack of access or another barrier preventing completion of continuing education in palliative care.