1 x 9-hour independent study weekly
^ = may be enrolled concurrently
^ PALL8432 - Introduction to the Study of Palliative Care
Assumed knowledge
Familiarity in the use of literature and accessing relevant data bases including OVID Medline, CINAHL, PubMed and any others appropriate to the area of study.
Assignments; Online Dicussion activities
Topic description
This topic will address the particular issues involved in providing palliative care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders of all ages and across community and inpatient settings (in the Australian context and for first nation communities in the context of international students) through review and exploration of :

  • the unique cultural, social and health dimensions of Indigenous populations and their special bearing on death and dying in a palliative care setting

  • morbidity and mortality and related health challenges in Indigenous populations

  • issues of protracted grief and loss well beyond death and dying and the social factors contributing to health outcomes.

  • cultural context and the impact on perspectives of illness and disease, decision making and autonomy at the end of life

  • the specific challenges of delivering services in rural and remote and service deprived areas

Educational aims
This topic aims to broaden the knowledge of health professionals and other interested students on a wide range of aspects informing the provision of palliative care for Indigenous Australians (or first nation communities of the countries from which students come). This includes knowledge of the broad cultural issues, the impact of cumulative loss and transgenerational grief and the health profile of Indigenous peoples on palliative care service delivery and will be achieved through:

  • exploration of the health profile of Indigenous peoples including mortality, morbidity, epidemiology of Indigenous health issues and social determinants of health

  • an introduction to cultural safety and respectfulness of cultural diversity, ethical decision making and communication styles of Indigenous peoples

  • review of cultural beliefs and understandings of health, illness, loss, grief and death and their role in the delivery of palliative care

  • the introduction of current conventional service models of palliative care, their ability to deliver culturally appropriate and tailored palliative care and the strategies or changes required to achieve this
  • facilitating networking with the local Indigenous community and/or Indigenous health service workers.

Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this Topic the students will be able to:

  • Analyse the impact of differing world views on the provision of palliative care, including the impact of cultural obligations and cumulative loss and grief

  • Analyse the issues related to Indigenous health, including morbidity and mortality, illness trajectories, resource issues and service provision issues.

  • Profile local Indigenous community support resources and initiate and develop professional networks with them.

  • Discuss the importance and implications of ethical issues in a cross-cultural context: including confidentiality, consent, autonomy, and values and beliefs around birth, life and death

  • Critically appraise current service models and their ability to deliver culturally appropriate and palliative care team for Indigenous peoples

  • Critically appraise their own practice and attitudes in relation to the delivery of culturally respectful palliative care for Indigenous people, including 'non-compliance' and communication styles Identify and implement strategies for delivery of respectful care for Indigenous people in their own practice setting