Palliative care for the non-cancer patient

Estimated Duration: 
1 hour

Non-cancer life limiting diseases are illnesses which are progressive, eventually leading to deterioration that results in death.

However, the clinical course with potential exacerbations, possible recoveries and eventual deterioration for individuals varies, meaning that the requirements of patients and their carers vary significantly across individual illnesses.

Palliative approaches can occur in conjunction with treatments aimed at optimising health, preventing exacerbation and restoring function.

This short course introduces the palliative care approach and details:

  • when to initiate palliative care
  • how to refer to palliative care services
  • advance care planning
  • advance care planning for Māori
  • management of physical symptoms in the palliative patient
  • end of life issues.

In addition it will help you:

  • Know how and when to initiate palliative care service referrals.
  • Understand how to manage common symptoms in the palliative care patient.
  • Feel more comfortable talking about dying with patients/whānau.



Once you have completed this short course and quiz, please click 'submit' where you will be taken to the results page. From here you can print your certificate for 1 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hour.


This content was created by Dr Karen Falloon PhD, MBChB, FRNZCGP and reviewed by Dr Rod MacLeod MB ChB, MMedEd, PhD, FRCGP, FAChPM, Consultant in Palliative Care in 2019.

The material is presented by the Goodfellow Unit (GFU), an accredited continuing medical education/ continuing professional development (CME/CPD) provider for the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners and functions under a tripartite agreement between the Goodfellow Foundation, the College and the University of Auckland. The Unit is located within the Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care, and within the School of Population Health.


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