Integrative Palliative Care Project: Online Continuing Education Program for Palliative Care Providers

NCI #R44 CA210723

How would it be… if health professionals working in palliative and end-of-life care could confidently make evidence-informed recommendations on complementary and integrative therapies to provide comfort and reduce suffering?

This project is developing an online continuing education program for interdisciplinary palliative care professionals covering evidence-based integrative therapies relevant to the most common symptoms observed in palliative care patients. Phase I of the program has been completed and Phase II will be completed late in 2020. This project is sponsored by the National Cancer Institute.


Palliative care represents one of the most rapidly expanding sectors of health care. Some integrative therapies have been shown to provide comfort, reduce suffering, and improve the quality of life in palliative care patients. The evidence is growing, and an increasing number of patients seek such therapies. However, there is a need for CE/CME opportunities to help palliative care personnel learn about integrative therapies to be able to make evidence-informed care planning decisions and to advise patients about the use of these interventions.

Topics covered by this program include:

  • Acupuncture and related approaches
  • Massage therapy and touch interventions
  • Biofield therapies (Reiki, Healing Touch, etc.)
  • Aromatherapy
  • Expressive arts therapies
  • Mind/body and contemplative approaches
  • Movement approaches
  • Transforming the culture of palliative care

Who is eligible for the study?

Physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, psychologists, counselors, pharmacists, administrators, chaplains, and others working in palliative care.

What is involved in Phase II of the study?

  • We are currently completing the course modules that will be tested using a randomized controlled trial to evaluate learning outcomes. 
  • We will be recruiting 240 multidisciplinary PC providers to participate in the RCT of the online course. 
  • Participants will receive CE/CME credit for their participation, plus payment for data collection.

Who is conducting the project?

  • The Principal Investigators are William Collinge, Ph.D. and Leila Kozak, Ph.D.
  • The organization conducting the study is Collinge and Associates, Inc., an independent research organization funded by the National Institutes of Health
  • The project is sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, grant #R44CA210723
  • The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) and Sullivan School of Pharmacy are collaborators in this project

How Can I Participate?

Sign up for emails to receive information about participating in the RCT portion of the project planned for late 2020.