CSU Shiley Institute for Palliative Care

Faculty Toolkit: Addressing Disparities in Palliative Care Through Curricular Integration



Preparing future health care professionals to provide high-quality palliative care for the rapidly growing population of people living with serious illness is one of the core missions of the CSU Shiley Institute for Palliative Care and its consortium of campus partners within the CSU.

To that end, the institute and its partners at California State University San Marcos, California State University, Monterey Bay, and California State University, Fresno, began work in 2018 on a pilot program to develop an online educational toolkit for college and university faculty to assist them in integrating palliative care content into existing curriculum across a range of disciplines and departments.

The first edition of the toolkit, completed in November 2018, included five online modules featuring resources and interactive learning activities that focus on the basics of palliative care as well as health disparities in palliative care. The modules provide cognitive, affective and psychomotor learning resources, including case studies, videos, slide presentations, pretests and posttests.

In January 2019, the three campuses began piloting the toolkit with 11 participating faculty members who teach in a variety of disciplines: psychology, nursing, social work, sociology, human development, gerontology and kinesiology.

The educators used the toolkit in 13 courses during the 2019 spring semester, reaching 684 undergraduate and graduate students. In a follow-up survey, the faculty members overwhelmingly agreed the toolkit met stated objectives and utilized appropriate learning techniques. More than half indicated the toolkit allowed them to introduce palliative care content in courses that previously had none.

The pilot continued in the 2019 fall semester with 13 faculty members participating at the three campuses. Once final data are collected, the results will be incorporated into the toolkit and the project will move forward. The institute is reaching out to secure additional funding that would enable faculty to build out the toolkit and scale access to campuses nationally.