Improving quality of life for cancer patients and their families reduces suffering, reduces preventable readmissions, and improves quality outcomes.

To achieve these goals, oncologists need the skills to have effective conversations with patients and families about their treatment goals and to safely manage pain and other symptoms. When patient needs are especially acute—complex pain and symptoms or conflicts among patient, family, and physician—oncologists often consult the specialty palliative care team for an added layer of support.

This toolkit contains training and clinical tools for oncology clinicians from all disciplines.

Download a course catalog with information about continuing education credits and ABIM MOC credits for all CAPC courses here.

What’s in the Toolkit

Communicate about what matters to patients and families in order to create a care plan aligned with what is most important to them.

Care Planning

Learn techniques to help patients and their caregivers plan for the future, both during the early stages of a serious illness and as a disease progresses.

Clarifying Patient Goals of Care

Learn best practices for building trust, eliciting patient values, and having patient-centered conversations about goals of care.

Leading a Patient and Caregiver Meeting

Learn to effectively lead meetings that help patients and caregivers become aligned around the patient’s goals.

Discussing Serious News

Learn best practices for having patient-centered conversations about a serious illness diagnosis.

Discussing Prognosis With Patients and Caregivers

Learn how to effectively discuss prognosis with patients and their caregivers.

Assess and safely manage pain, dyspnea, nausea and vomiting, constipation, anxiety, and depression.

Navigating Medical Cannabis in Palliative Care

In this on-demand case review, participants will gain an in-depth understanding of the historical context and status of medical cannabis use, focusing on its transition from traditional to therapeutic applications.

Addressing Nausea and Vomiting in Patients with Cancer

In this Master Clinician session, Drs. Danielle Noreika and Emily B. Rivet look at the pathophysiology and causes of nausea and vomiting in people living with cancer.

Course 1: Comprehensive Pain Assessment

Conducting a comprehensive pain assessment to guide safe and effective treatment.

Course 4: Assessing Risk for Opioid Substance Use Disorder

Integrating routine risk assessment for substance use disorder when considering or using opioid therapy.

Course 5: Opioid Trials: Determining Design, Efficacy, and Safety

Designing a safe and effective opioid trial for the patient with serious illness.

Course 8: Monitoring for Opioid Efficacy, Side Effects, and Substance Use Disorder

Ongoing evaluation of opioid benefits, risks, and side effects for the patient with serious illness.

Course 14: Pain Management: Putting it All Together

Safe opioid prescribing for patients with serious illness, using the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) Guidelines for the Chronic Use of Opioid Analgesics.

Prescribing Opioids: A Pocket Reference

Opioid pocket reference for providers including safe starting doses, equianalgesic chart, and standard dosing strengths.

Symptom Management

Training curriculum and clinical tools for assessing and managing five common symptoms in patients living with serious illness.

Know how to describe palliative care to patients and families and when to refer.

Palliative Care Measures in Enhancing Oncology Model

Crosswalk of palliative care-relevant measures in the Enhancing Oncology Model that highlights how palliative care skills can mitigate risks for participating practices, as well as relevant CAPC resources.

Palliative Care, Value-Based Payment, and the Patient Experience

Excerpt from presentation delivered to oncology practices describing how palliative care can support successful participation in the Oncology Care Model

Introduction to Palliative Care for Health Professionals

An introduction to palliative care, how it is delivered, its impact on quality of life, and the growing population of patients who need it.

Referral Criteria for Specialty Palliative Care

Checklist of triggers for referral to a specialty palliative care team.

Get Palliative Care Provider Directory

Searchable directory of specialty palliative care providers, filtered by care setting.

Case studies and guidance for improving symptom management and achieving goal-concordant care.

Palliative Care and the Oncology Care Model (OCM)

Recommended clinician training to improve on OCM measures.

Case Study: Moffitt Cancer Center’s Approach to Standardizing Palliative Care and Oncology Integration

Use of screening to risk-stratify patients for palliative care based on need. CAPC and the Accountable Care Learning Collaborative.

Overall Survival Results of a Trial Assessing Patient-Reported Outcomes for Symptom Monitoring During Routine Cancer Treatment

Integration of patient-reported outcomes (PROs) into the routine care of patients with metastatic cancer is associated with increased survival compared with usual care. Basch, et. al. JAMA 2017.

Impact of Interdisciplinary Outpatient Specialty Palliative Care on Survival and Quality of Life in Adults With Advanced Cancer: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Patients with advanced cancer randomized to receive outpatient specialty palliative care lived longer and had better quality of life. Hoerger, et. al. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, September 2018.

Skills training and clinical tools to support the care of patients with serious illness, and their families. Includes 12 resources.
Training and clinical tools for hospitalists to improve quality of life for patients living with serious illness and complex need. Includes 31 resources.
Tools to design and implement a training initiative for care teams from all specialties, to improve quality of life for patients and families living with serious illness. Includes 27 resources.

See all 47 Toolkits

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