Integrated palliative care and end-of-life care: The Université de Sherbrooke presents a new training approach

SHERBROOKE, QC, June 14, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - With the entry into force of the Act Respecting End-of-Life Care, health care professionals are facing new challenges. To adequately meet the needs of those in the final stage of life and of their loved ones, the Université de Sherbrooke's Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences has been proactive in establishing a Working Group, whose report led to a review of program curricular. Faculty development activities began in January and students in the Doctor of Medicine program, as well as those in nursing, rehabilitation, and the main postgraduate medicine programs will benefit from this new approach. These improvements have already been introduced in certain programs, and their progressive introduction will continue in the fall of 2016.

Participating in a change of culture

"Things have changed—we have the duty to reflect, to offer training activities to our professors, and to review certain practices with our students to enable them to become more knowledgeable about end-of-life situations and respond appropriately to the wishes of patients and their loved ones in this new context," said Pierre Cossette, Dean of the Faculty.

"This Working Group has been proactive and is establishing links between programs so that different professionals will have the necessary knowledge to appropriately intervene in situations involving serious illnesses and end-of-life situations, including a common vocabulary, understanding of roles, culture, values, etc. The Group has identified three priority improvements and five specific objectives," stated Anne-Marie Boire-Lavigne, Professor, Family Doctor in Long-Term Care at the CIUSSS Estrie-CHUS, and Chair of the Faculty Working Group on Integrated Palliative Care and End-of-Life Care.

Better meet the needs of those in the final stage of life

We want professionals to have all the skills needed to support patients with serious and terminal diseases in accessing integrated palliative care and end-of-life care, which may include, as applicable, medical assistance in dying. "Professionals will be able to develop care plans in concert with patients, their loved ones, and the other involved professionals, which respect the patients' objectives," stated Carl Bromwich, Assistant Professor, Palliative Medicine specialist at the CIUSSS de l'Estrie-CHUS and Vice-chair of the Working Group.

"The Working Group strongly recommended that the Faculty join forces with all of the social actors involved in integrated palliative care and end-of-life care," noted Michèle Héon-Lepage, who sits on the committee as a patient partner. "Thus, the Faculty will help enhance the public's knowledge of these issues so that patients can start a dialogue with their care staff. In the end, what matters is that patients and their loved ones benefit from this approach."

The battle is far from won

"In spite of the major reorganization of the health network, we are making every effort to facilitate links between training programs and clinical teaching settings, in collaboration with our partners," stated Prof. Anne-Marie Boire-Lavigne.

In Quebec, it is important to continue efforts to improve access to palliative care for all patients with serious and terminal diseases, cancerous or not. "There must be access to palliative care in all regions of Quebec, in all care settings, and above all, at home," Carl Bromwich continued. "We involved many types of health care professionals in this project. They all deserve adequate training in palliative care."


SOURCE Université de Sherbrooke

For further information: Marie Gendron, Communications Officer, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences | Université de Sherbrooke, 819-821-8000, ext. 72581 | 819-432-5878 (cell) |


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