Teaching Palliative Care Skills Using Simulated Family Encounters

Format Publication ID Version Published
Case, Presentation 8507 1 November 2, 2011
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences COM


While there has been a steady increase in awareness of end-of-life issues and palliative care for adults, there continues to be a shortfall in pediatric palliative care education, particularly for physicians in training. This project describes a curriculum intervention developed to train pediatric residents on pediatric palliative care and end of life discussions. Standardized families were trained to portray scenarios from real life experiences. Pediatric residents that participated in the scenarios indicated more comfort and confidence in discussing end of life issues with families. This submission includes the cases and instruments used for the intervention. It is hoped that educators can use the materials to train their residents on end of life issues.


Brown C, Gephardt G, Lloyd C, Swearingen C, Boateng B. Teaching Palliative Care Skills Using Simulated Family Encounters. MedEdPORTAL; 2011. Available from: www.mededportal.org/publication/8507

Educational Objectives

  1. To increase resident self-confidence with regard to end of life conversations.
  2. To improve resident communication skills when delivering bad news.
  3. To enhance resident knowledge about available options for patients with terminal diagnoses.


  • Terminal Infant


  • Medical
    • Pediatrics
    • Pediatrics

Competencies Addressed

  • Medical
    • Interpersonal & Communication Skills
    • Medical Knowledge
    • Patient Care
    • Professionalism

Academic Focus

  • Clinical Sciences
    • Clinical Skills/Doctoring

Professional Interest

  • Communication Skills
  • End of Life Care
  • Instructional Materials/Methods

Intended Audience

  • Professional School
    • Medical Student
  • Professional School Post-Graduate Training
    • Fellow
    • Resident

Instructional Methods

  • Standardized Patient

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