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The End-of-Life Care curriculum contains:

Teacher's Handbook

  • Background on the development of this curriculum and the Stanford Faculty Development Center
  • Commentary on education in end-of-life care
  • How to use this curriculum
  • General teaching commentary (including rationale for instructional methods)
  • Teaching Tips for each module
  • Supplementary instructional materials (handouts: references, content summaries)
  • Self-rating exercise for use when teaching the entire series
  • Comprehensive bibliography
  • How to access the End-of-Life Care literature database

Eight Modules

Each module is implemented as a PowerPoint slide presentation, with slides and teachers' notes on both the content and teaching process. You may view the PowerPoint presentation in HTML form or you may download the actual PowerPoint file to your own computer. The Teacher's Handbook for the curriculum includes guidance for each module.

  1. Overview: Death and Dying in the U.S.A.
  2. Pain Management
  3. Communicating with Patients and Families
  4. Making Difficult Decisions
  5. Non-Pain Symptom Management
  6. Venues and Systems of Care
  7. Psychiatric Issues and Spirituality
  8. Instituting Change
Teacher's Handbook
Explains the overall curriculum and gives teaching tips for use with each individual module
View as Adobe PDF (471 KB)
1. Death and Dying in the U.S.A.
Includes an introduction to the curriculum as a whole, gives an overview of death trends in the United States, and addresses patterns of death and prognostication, and the last 48 hours of life.
HTML | PowerPoint (197 KB)
"Perspectives" on death trends
"Perspectives" on prognostication
2. Pain Management
After a consideration of barriers to care, provides a pain assessment tool, and discusses non-pharmacologic and pharmacologic interventions, including opioids and the process of opioid conversion and adjustment.
HTML | PowerPoint (188 KB)
3. Communicating with Patients and Families
Addresses the importance of effective communication at the end of life, and presents some basic skills (identifying cognitive and affective components, clarifying ambiguity, and balancing listening with speaking), which are used to practice sharing bad news and doing a death pronouncement.
HTML | PowerPoint (125 KB)
4. Making Difficult Decisions
This extension of the Communications module presents more advanced challenges, offering a tool for use in the process of making difficult decisions with the patient and family, and responding to requests for hastening death.
HTML | PowerPoint (152 KB)
5. Non-Pain Symptom Management
Offers a frame shift for thinking about symptoms, provides an analytic tool for identifying appropriate therapies, and uses this tool to address nausea and vomiting, dyspnea, terminal syndrome characterized by respiratory secretions, and cachexia, anorexia, and asthenia.
HTML | PowerPoint (142 KB)
6. Venues and Systems of Care
Gives basic information about hospice and palliative care, discusses ways to work the system to ensure good healthcare outcomes for dying patients in both acute and extended care facilities, and presents basic strategies of system change to improve care of the dying.
HTML | PowerPoint (138 KB)
7. Psychiatric Issues and Spirituality
Discusses common forms of mental and emotional suffering that can arise at the end of life (depression, anxiety, terminal confusion, grief, and physician losses), focuses on spiritual aspects of care with skills practice using a spiritual assessment tool, and concludes the course as a whole.
HTML | PowerPoint (149 KB)
8. Instituting Change
Presents strategies for improving end-of-life care at your institution.
HTML | PowerPoint (87 KB)
Note to Mac users:
A small number of graphics may not be visible on Mac systems when viewing the PowerPoint presentations in HTML form. These graphics will be visible if you download the PowerPoint files and open them using PowerPoint software on your Mac.