Palliative Care Always: India


Stanford School of Medicine



Palliative care can help ease suffering and improve wellbeing in people living with serious illnesses such as cancer.

Palliative Care Always: India is an online, case-based course for health care practitioners who work in cancer care. We believe that incorporating the principles of palliative care—symptom management, goals of care and effective communication—into clinical practice can improve the quality of life for our patients and their support systems. We also believe palliative medicine can improve quality of life for clinicians. We’ve designed this course to demonstrate how palliative medicine integrates with oncology care, and to help you develop primary palliative care skills. Our hope is that you feel increasingly equipped to support the diverse needs of your patients and your own needs as a healthcare provider.

Palliative Care Always: India features presentations from a variety of Stanford palliative medicine clinicians, interwoven with the video scenes from the journey of a fictional patient experiencing colon cancer, from diagnosis across the life span. Additionally, this course features a Focus on India section within each module with additional readings, videos and links to contents relevant for the Indian context. The objective of this section is to provide India-specific context to the learnings from the Palliative Care Always. Within each module, an attempt has been made to include the cultural nuances, family dynamics and policies and systems influencing palliative care practices in India. Our hope is that you will feel increasingly equipped to support the diverse needs of patients with serious illness in your region.

By the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the scope and role of palliative care as part of a patient and family’s care plan
  • Describe the components of an interdisciplinary treatment plan for physical, psychosocial, and spiritual care, including screening, assessment and management of patient needs
  • Describe the issues around transitions in care (e.g. survivorship or hospice transition) and key needs for patients and caregivers at these times
  • Clinicians: Practice basic symptom and distress management and determine when to involve palliative care specialists for extra support
  • Respond to common caregiver needs throughout the care continuum
  • Practice effective communication skills with other healthcare providers, patients, and their families; including responding to emotion, coaching in self-management of symptoms and distress, and discussing goals of care

Please note that you have until October 14th 2019 to complete the course.

Course Structure

The course is a series of twelve modules. Each module will introduce you to a specific aspect of palliative medicine—from effective communication and symptom management to addressing goals of care and specific types of distress. You will learn tips and tools to help you screen for palliative needs and offer basic palliative care.

  • Module 1: Introduction to Palliative Care
  • Module 2: Communicating with Families and Patients
  • Module 3: Psychosocial Support
  • Module 4: Goals of Care
  • Module 5: Pain Assessment and Management
  • Module 6: Nausea and Fatigue Management
  • Module 7: Survivorship
  • Module 8: Spiritual Care
  • Module 9: Emotions and Coping
  • Module 10: Child and Family Guidance
  • Module 11: Hospice Care
  • Module 12: Self-Care and Reflection

Each module consists of five main sections: Introduction, Case Study, Lecture, Focus on India and Additional Resources.


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