1 x 9-hour independent study weekly
1 x 1-hour on-line exercises weekly
1 x 1-hour on-line lecture per semester
3 x 1-hour on-line tutorials per semester
^ = may be enrolled concurrently
^ PALL8432 - Introduction to the Study of Palliative Care
Assumed knowledge
Familiarity in the use of literature and accessing relevant databases including OVID Medline, CINAHL, PubMed and any others appropriate to the area of study; and an understanding of the biology/pathology of cancer. For students who have not been exposed to oncology clinical practice or biology of cancer in their prior degree the PALL topic 'Understanding Cancer' is recommended prior to undertaking this topic.
Assignments; Case Studies
Topic description
Oncology for Palliative Care has been developed as an elective topic for the Palliative Care graduate studies. The topic seeks to enhance understanding of cancer by considering the common experience of an individual who is diagnosed with cancer along the complete illness trajectory from curative treatment intent, palliative anticancer therapies and supportive care, and end of life care.
Educational aims
This topic aims to provide a basis for informed interactions with patients who have cancer, their families and oncology staff. Students will learn the language, principles and concepts of applied oncology diagnosis and management. While this topic is specifically about cancer, issues of wider importance to palliative care have also been highlighted. Throughout this topic the over-arching question is:

How do the biology and therapies of cancer influence the assessment and support of a patient with cancer in the continuum of care between palliative and supportive services and oncology?
Expected learning outcomes
At the completion of this topic, students will be able to

  • Critically examine case studies and be able to provide evidence-based rationales for the treatment and goals of therapy that underpin management decisions.

  • Describe and critique appropriate interventions for the treatment of cancer and the symptoms that anticancer treatment may cause.

  • Identify strategies focused at providing relevant information of cancer to better support the emotional, social and spiritual needs for the person with cancer, their family and their carers

  • Understand the impact of the continuing evolution of new therapies of improving outcomes (for example improving prognosis, decreasing morbidity)

  • Articulate the cultural, economic and social context in which people make treatment decisions