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The views and opinions expressed in our blog series are those of the authors and are not necessarily supported by CareSearch, Flinders University and/or the Australian Government Department of Health.
How much does palliative care cost? What are the costs for the patients and families? What are the most cost-effective ways to provide a palliative care service? Information about the costs of care is of perennial interest – not only to those who deliver it and fund it, but also to those who receive it. A thorough investigation of this information can be hard to do, because it is located in many different areas: it is not just found in scholarly databases but is also incorporated in websites, conference papers, blog posts, and other grey literature areas.
I am excited to be part of a project team at CareSearch that are developing a ‘massive open online course’ (MOOC) on death and dying. MOOCs are freely-available short online courses that anyone can participate in. Traditionally they have been used in universities to deliver education out of the classroom, but there has been a surge in their popularity in that they can be used to not only create social networks and engage participants, but impart important messages, provide resources, and facilitate research opportunities. The aim of our MOOC is to build community awareness of palliative care and death as a normal process, and our approach to the MOOC will be in a socio-cultural context (rather than a palliative care context); so for example, the social rather than biological death as seen in dementia. The MOOC will provide a never-before-seen opportunity to watch a community-driven approach to death and dying.
Thank you for your continued support and readership of Palliative Perspectives. We've been delighted to see so many people interested in the guest posts that we've featured, and welcome your feedback and ideas for future posts. Please also continue to share this blog with your colleagues and friends on Twitter, via email, or wherever you spend time online.
Now that we've completed our series of posts for GPs, we'd like to introduce our next focus: CareSearch Project Updates.