Use of an Online Palliative Care Clinical Curriculum to Train U.S. Hospital Staff: 2015-2019

Maggie M. Rogers, Brittany Chambers, Andrew Esch, Diane E. Meier, Brynn Bowman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Most clinicians in the United States do not receive pre-professional education in pain and symptom management, communication skills, and caregiver support. The use of these skills by clinicians improves the quality of care for persons living with serious illness and enables the specialty-trained palliative care workforce to focus on patients whose needs are most complex. Objective: To review current trends in hospital use of the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) online clinical training curriculum. Description: Launched in 2015, CAPC clinical curriculum educates clinicians in the knowledge and skills necessary to improve care for patients with serious illness. CAPC currently offers 43 clinical courses and 4 Designations in recognition of successful completion of training by topic. Results: From January 15, 2015, to August 31, 2019, 26,535 clinicians working in hospitals completed 172,684 clinical courses. Registered nurses represented half of learners, and advanced practice providers were most likely to seek Designation. Physicians made up 22% of all learners; 85% of physician learners came from specialties beyond palliative care. Two of every five U.S. hospitals with more than 300 beds had at least one learner. In post-course evaluations, 84% reported that they will make practice changes as a result, and 70% reported that the content was new. Conclusions: The CAPC clinical curriculum is a widely used and valued method for education in clinical skills specific to the care of people living with serious illness. Findings suggest that an increasing number of hospital leaders recognize the importance of these skills in caring for patients with serious illness and support the necessary training.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)488-495
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Palliative Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • clinical training
  • communication skills
  • continuing education
  • online courses
  • pain and symptom management


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