E-poster Presentation 2014 World Cancer Congress

Palliative care: Getting started – An online program (#865)

Lyndsay Cassidy 1 , Karen Quinn 1
  1. St Vincents Hospital, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Background and Context:

Lack of time and resources are reported to make it difficult for health professionals to attend education. Often they attend professional development in their own time and at significant financial cost. Consequently there has been an increased focus on online education programs which offer accessibility and flexibility in terms of time and information delivery. The Centre for Palliative Care seeks to ensure all health professionals have access to a range of palliative care training programs that are evidence based and translate to the best clinical outcomes for patients and their families.


To develop an innovative and interactive online palliative care program that is freely accessible for generalist health care providers who require training in the key principles of palliative care.


The authors conducted a literature review to identify online programs already in existence that had a palliative care focus. The current module was developed in partnership between experienced palliative care education providers and an IT company that specialises in the development of interactive online education. The content has been reviewed by academics and clinical experts in the field and piloted with generalist clinicians.

Programme/Policy Process:

“Palliative Care: Getting Started” provides a detailed introduction to the principles of palliative care practice. The module is evidence based, promotes best practice, and includes links to relevant resources valuable to clinical practice. Although the course was developed in Australia, we consider it has relevance for health professionals worldwide who are involved in the care of people with a life threatening illness.

Outcomes/What was learned:

• Pilot results will be discussed.
• Literature review identified accessibility and flexibility are the main benefits of online learning.
• Improved knowledge and access to key palliative care resources reduce the burden for clinicians caring for palliative patients.
• Caring for dying patients is the responsibility of all health professionals