Holistic Management in Palliative Care MED5600

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Cancer Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Summer
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Taught Wholly by Distance Learning: Yes

Short Description

Symptom control is far broader than physical symptoms alone. In this course development of students understanding of themes in psychological, spiritual and bereavement care are explored.

As our population ages and treatment extends life expectancy, we consider frailty, the role of supportive care and rehabilitation and its relationship to palliative care.


This course consists of lectures, tutorials and forum discussion which take place in the summer semester.

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





Reflection on forum posts (500 words approx) - 20%

Presentation - 30%

Comparative essay (1500 words approx) - 50%  

Course Aims

Students will develop their knowledge and clinical application of psychological and spiritual aspects of clinical care and how this may impact on quality of life. Frailty, rehabilitation and multi-morbidity will also be explored. Students will develop their understanding of the impact on bereavement and the central role of community for patients and carers. The course also looks to explore the limits of what palliative care can offer for patients and future directions for the speciality.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Critically discuss the interplay between frailty, multi-morbidity and interface with palliative care

■ Evaluate the significance of patient experience and social support to symptom control

■ Develop strategies for managing psychological and spiritual distress

■ Critically analyse the major psychological challenges facing patients with life-threatening illnesses and formulate means of resolving these in particular clinical contexts

■ Critically analyse and reflect upon the spiritual practices of patients and the societies and communities in which they live, and which give meaning to death, dying and bereavement

■ Evaluate the role of palliative care in rehabilitation and supportive care

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.