Psychosocial Aspects of Palliative Care

Subject NURS90074 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

August, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 17-Aug-2015 to 31-Aug-2015
Assessment Period End 29-Sep-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 20-Aug-2015
Census Date 28-Aug-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 11-Sep-2015

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 02-Mar-2015 to 31-May-2015
Assessment Period End 26-Jun-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 13-Mar-2015
Census Date 31-Mar-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 08-May-2015

A combination of face to face and online delivery, with a strong clinical focus. A delivery format of four four-day subjects offered intensively in two day blocks throughout the year has been established to enable accessibility for regional and interstate health professionals.

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 32 hours (4 days of intensive delivery)
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours per 12.5 credit point subject


To enrol in this subject, you must be admitted in either the Specialist Certificate in Palliative Care (GC-PALLC) or Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care (GC-PALCARE). This subject is not available for students admitted in any other courses.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

A minimum of two years postgraduate experience in a health-related field.

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr Diane Clifton, Ms Karen Quinn


School of Melbourne Custom Programs Award Programs Team

Program Coordinator - Gemma Hughes

Phone - +61 3 9810 3253


Subject Overview:

This subject will explore the psychological, psychiatric, social, cultural, spiritual and existential experiences of patients and families dealing with life-threatening illness, drawing on the most recent scientific literature and illustrating the management of these issues through case material and demonstration. Topics to be covered include:

  • Day 1 - Identification and Assessment of Psychological and Psychiatric Disorder
  • Day 2 - Management of Psychiatric and Psychological Disorder
  • Day 3 - Special Needs and High-Risk populations
  • Day 4 - Supporting health care professionals to care for palliative care patients and families who are experiencing psychosocial distress
Learning Outcomes:

At the completion of this subjects students should:

  • Have an enhanced awareness and understanding of psychosocial issues as they relate to palliative care
  • Be able to identify the evidence that underpins and informs contemporary psychosocial practice
  • Be enabled to screen, recognise and assess psychosocial distress in patients and their families
  • Have an enhanced ability to distinguish between different forms of psychological and psychiatric disorder
  • Have the skills to implement a range of strategies and interventions to respond appropriately to psychological and psychiatric disorder in a palliative care population
  • Have an increased clinical competency in implementing a multidisciplinary approach to the holistic care of patients and their families who experience psychological and psychiatric disorders
  • Have practical self-care strategies to implement for their own practice when providing care to palliative care patients and their families

  • A portfolio of four separate items, each of 600 words (total 2,400 words) (40%)
  • A 2,500-word essay (60%)

Prescribed Texts:

Selected readings will be made available to students via SOLE

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care

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