Desire to Die – Digital Trainings and Literacy (DeDigiTaL)

German Version

Project management: Dr. Kerstin Kremeike, Prof. Dr. Raymond Voltz
Contact: Dr. Kerstin Kremeike, Kathleen Boström M. Sc., Thomas Dojan M. Sc. / B. A.
Duration: 06/2021 - 07/2023
Funding institution: Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ)

"Accompanying people with a desire to die in palliative and hospice care" was developed as part of the research project.

Project Description

People with advanced life-limiting illness or in old age, may develop the wish that death should come sooner or that their life should end earlier. At the Center for Palliative Medicine at the University Hospital of Cologne, desires to die and how to deal with them in palliative care have been researched for more than a decade. Among other things, the need for trainings for professionals in palliative care was identified, a semi-structured interview schedule and a training curriculum were developed and evaluated.

The high demand for training confirms the need for support in dealing professionally with desires to die. Staff shortages, lack of time, and/or lack of funding do not allow many staff to attend multi-day classroom training. This is where low-threshold, low-cost, time-flexible offerings can help. These should include easy access to the most important information and the option of modular training courses. Digital offerings are particularly suitable for this purpose. To this end, the training content should be expanded in modules to include the topics that are most frequently requested: these include volunteering in hospice care, legal issues, and the perspective of relatives. Consequently, the two goals of the project are:

  1. To digitize the existing two-day training curriculum for dealing with desire to die and to translate the training content into digitally retrievable information materials to ensure low-threshold access.
  2. The development of additional training modules (online and in presence) and information materials to supplement the content and target groups.

The project is to be implemented in four successive phases: Development of the concept (phase 1), creation of the material (phase 2), implementation / application (phase 3), revision and dissemination (phase 4).

Factsheet with results of the project
350 KB
Priv.-Doz. Dr. rer. medic.--Kremeike-Kerstin
Priv.-Doz. Dr. rer. medic. Kerstin Kremeike

Research Associate

Dealing with Desire to Die in Palliative Care, Dying in hospital - Optimization of care in the dying phase (StiK-OV), Implementation and Evaluation of an Online Platform for Research Data in the Rhineland Region regarding Health Services Research in the Last Year of Life (CoRe-WEB)

Qualifications and professional experience
since 01/2016Research associate, Department of Palliative Medicine, University Hospital of Cologne
09/2015Examination on doctoral thesis, Institute for Health Systems Research, Witten/Herdecke University, Subject: Structural, process and result quality in pediatric palliative home care
04/2015 - 12/2018additional training in communication psychology
2009/2010/2011Quality Representative/ Quality Manager/ Quality Auditor (TÜV academy)
09/2008 - 04/2017Research associate, Network on severely ill children and adolescents, Hannover
04/2005 - 05/2006Student research assistant at the EU-India Economic Cross Cultural Programme - Project: “Strengthening Micro Health Insurance for the Poor in India”; Diploma thesis on chronic illness in India
04/2003 - 08/2008Academic studies at the Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences, University Cologne; Diploma in Political Sciences
04/2002 - 03/2003Scholarship by InWEnt - Capacity Building International, Education in development policy; Project on therapy of polio in West Africa
01/2001 - 03/2008Physiotherapist in several practices in Cologne
11/1997 - 10/2000Physiotherapy School, Orthopedic Clinic Hessisch Lichtenau, Licensed Physiotherapist
Research Focus
Desire to die in palliative patients; general and specialist, inpatient and outpatient (pediatric) palliative care; implementation and evaluation of supply structures
Module Qualitative Methods, Bachelor Program in Interprofessional Health Care, Heidelberg University Hospital
Seminar on Qualitative data analysis (QDA) and the use of QDA Software, Master Program in Health Services Research and Implementation Science in Health Systems, Heidelberg University Hospital
Seminar on Research Processes in Medical Sociology, Model Medical Education Program, University of Cologne
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Palliativmedizin (DGP)
Deutsches Netzwerk Versorgungsforschung (DNVF)

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Kathleen Boström, M. Sc.

Research Associate

Dealing with Desire to Die in Palliative Care

Qualifications and professional experience
Since 2019Research Associate at the Department of Palliative Medicine
2015 - 2019 Research assistant at the Department of Palliative Medicine
2012 - 2019Studied Psychology
Research Focus
Wish to Hasten Death, Communication, Health Care Research
Completed projects
Palliative Care und schwere Demenz – Implementierung einer Arbeitshilfe zum Erkennen und zur Befriedigung der Bedürfnisse von Menschen mit schwerer Demenz in der Versorgungspraxis der ambulanten und stationären Altenhilfe mit dem Ziel einer bedürfnisgerechten Versorgung

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