Symptom Control MED5601

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Cancer Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Taught Wholly by Distance Learning: Yes

Short Description

Symptom control is a central tenet of palliative care. The changing and contrasting trajectory for disease will be discussed as applied to specific diagnoses. The role of pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions tailored to patient needs will be considered.


This course consists of lectures, tutorials and forum discussion within semester 2.

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





Case reflection (1600 words approx) - 40%

A case report with literature review (1600 words approx) - 40%

Reflection on forum posts (800 words approx) - 20%

Course Aims

Students will be confident in delivering symptom control for patients with a range of life limiting conditions with a focus on non-malignant disease. They will be able to describe the different trajectories of different conditions and describe an approach to management of symptoms using pharmacological and non-pharmacological evidence-based interventions.

Furthermore, they should appreciate use of holistic based practice and apply this to provision of care at end of life for patients and their families.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Critically appraise the available evidence base for symptom control

■ Critically discuss approaches to pain assessment and management

■ Reflect on the nature of holistic care to develop and incorporate assessment into practice

■ Critically appraise disease trajectory and symptom burden in patients with oncological, cardiovascular, neurological, respiratory and liver disease diagnoses 

■ Use an evidence-based approach to reflect on medication adjustment for patients with organ dysfunction 

■ Develop strategies for applying thorough assessment of patient and family needs at the end of life 

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.