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Expanding the Reach of a Cancer Palliative Care Curriculum Through Web-Based Dissemination: A Public–Private Collaboration

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Deficiencies in palliative and end-of-life care have been well documented by the Institute of Medicine. The National Cancer Institute (NCI), in partnership with Northwestern University, developed an educational curriculum for clinicians who deal with end-of-life issues, the Education in Palliative and End-of-Life Care for Oncology. A live meeting was held to distribute the curriculum to institutional leaders who could take it back to their organizations for broader distribution. To further distribute the materials and ensure they were available whenever a clinician wanted to view them, NCI collaborated with a leading online medical education provider whose websites are visited by over 1,500,000 physicians per month ( to post one module of the curriculum as an online activity certified for physician and nurse continuing education credit. The module is entitled “Last Hours of Living: Practical Advice for Clinicians.” A descriptive analysis of the first 7 months of publication was performed. Twenty thousand sixty-one health professionals completed the activity during this time period and earned continuing education credit. Eighty-four percent completed the post-activity evaluation survey. Satisfaction was very high among participants, and many indicated their intention to incorporate new knowledge into practice. Collaboration with a commonly used online medical education provider such as Medscape is effective at broadly disseminating palliative care education to health professionals.

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  1. The Office of Education and Special Initiatives was relocated and merged into the Office of Communication and Education in 2008.


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Correspondence to Cheryl Arenella.

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Arenella, C., Yox, S., Eckstein, D.S. et al. Expanding the Reach of a Cancer Palliative Care Curriculum Through Web-Based Dissemination: A Public–Private Collaboration. J Canc Educ 25, 418–421 (2010).

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