A study in three cares homes was undertaken to assess the feasibility of providing online emotional support and practice-based learning on death/dying and end of life care during the pandemic of 2020, to groups of staff in care homes for older people.KEY FINDINGS•The provision of supportive conversations and reflection sessions to care home staff is feasible and acceptable to staff and management. Future implementation should consider the timing of sessions to accommodate staff workflows, the engagement and support of managers, and, the availability of sufficient devices with cameras to aid participation and social distancing across the home.•Facilitators of OSCaRS should have experience of the care home context, work practices and workforce, and, knowledge of palliative and end of life care.•Staff with different roles in the homes attended OSCaRS together and shared their experiences and knowledge. This enhanced feelings of togetherness and aided team cohesion.•Participants valued having a safe space to discuss and share their experiences openly. This offered affirmation and reassurance in addition to the opportunity to reflect on their practice and develop future skills and confidence in end of life care.•Having less knowledge and experience of death/dying and end of life care practice and principles and/or less confidence in talking with relatives appeared to be related to lack of on-site nurses and highlighted the need for increased work-based emotional/wellbeing support.•Online Supportive Conversations and Reflection Sessions (OSCaRS) with the support of palliative care professionals can help mitigate the emotional trauma of COVID-19.•We found that OSCaRS are a feasible, acceptable and beneficial way of providing emotional/wellbeing support through context and challenge specific supportive conversations with care staff which also provides much needed practice-based opportunities to learn about end of life care.


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Johnston, L. 2021, Online Supportive Conversations and Reflection Sessions (OSCaRS): A Feasibility Studywith care home staff during the pandemic, Chief Scientist Office. Available at: http://researchrepository.napier.ac.uk/Output/2755869

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Last updated: 16 June 2022
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