In 2010 cancer is expected to surpass heart disease as the highest health-related cause of mortality in the world. Almost every family has or will face a loved one needing cancer care, including curative treatment, symptom control, and end-of-life care. The increasing needs of our patient population and the emerging science of palliative care call for new efforts in innovative education. National organizations have called for new efforts in interdisciplinary understanding and education in approaching palliative care. Each discipline, however, has continued to teach palliative care principles largely in silos using existing curricular structure and constructs;there are no reports of mandatory interdisciplinary education in palliative care involving all four disciplines - medicine, nursing, social work and chaplaincy.
The aim of this project is to design, implement and evaluate an innovative, integrated, and interdisciplinary oncology palliative care curriculum for medical, nursing, social work and chaplaincy students.
Specific aims are: 1) Design an innovative, interdisciplinary oncology palliative care curriculum; 2) Implement the interdisciplinary oncology palliative care curriculum; 3) Develop and utilize an evaluation system that measures the effectiveness of the curriculum, learner outcomes, and the long term impact on practitioners and patients. Project efforts will focus the design, implementation and testing of an interdisciplinary oncology palliative care curriculum. Innovative as well as proven education modalities will be utilized to determine: 1) If the educational objectives are aligned with the desired outcomes; 2) Which modalities are most effective for each discipline? 3) How the modalities are best integrated;and 4) What factors contribute to the sustainability and portability of the curriculum. The new curriculum will include eight learning activities that will become a required part of the curriculum for all 3rd year medical students, 3rd and 4th year nursing students, masters level social work students, and clinical pastoral education residents. In addition to traditional educational modalities such as clinical rotations, didactic sessions and self-study modules, non-traditional methods including standardized patients and families, reflective writing, a palliative care vignette, case-solving, and capstone projects will be used. The added value of interdisciplinary education will be evaluated in this field.

Public Health Relevance

Almost every family has or will face a loved one needing cancer care, including curative treatment, symptom control, and end-of-life care. In receiving this care patients and their families will need the services of physicians, nurses, chaplains, and social workers. The Institute of Medicine lists working in interdisciplinary teams as one of five core competencies all health care clinicians should possess and calls for health professionals to be educated in an interdisciplinary manner to prepare them for the real world team environments they will participate in once entering the field. This project will create, implement and test a novel, mandatory interdisciplinary oncology palliative care curriculum for medical, nursing, social work and chaplaincy students.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Type
Education Projects (R25)
Project #
5R25CA148005-04
Application #
8548914
Study Section
Subcommittee G - Education (NCI)
Program Officer
Korczak, Jeannette F
Project Start
2010-09-01
Project End
2015-08-31
Budget Start
2013-09-01
Budget End
2014-08-31
Support Year
4
Fiscal Year
2013
Total Cost
$291,864
Indirect Cost
$19,391
Name
University of Louisville
Department
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
057588857
City
Louisville
State
KY
Country
United States
Zip Code
40292