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Activity Details
  • Credit Amounts:
    • CME: 1.25
    • CPE: 1.25
    • CNE: 1.00
    • CHES: 1.00
  • Cost: Free
  • Release: May 27, 2015
  • Expires: May 26, 2018
  • Estimated Time to Complete:
    1 Hour(s)  15 Minutes
  • System Requirements:
  • Average User Rating:
    (8 Ratings)


Joy Goldsmith Joy Goldsmith, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Communication Studies
Young Harris College
Young Harris, Georgia

Sandra Ragan Sandra Ragan, PhD
Professor Emerita
Department of Communication
University of Oklahoma
Norman, Oklahoma

Elaine Wittenberg-Lyles Elaine Wittenberg-Lyles, PhD
Associate Professor
Markey Cancer Center and Department of Communication
College of Communication and Information
University of Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky

Needs Statement

Health professionals are inadequately trained to engage in effective multi-modal (multiple professions, patient, caregiver, agencies) communications within the context of palliative care. Moreover, current curricula in palliative care education in health professions schools are inadequate, offering few educational guidelines to teach clinicians to view patient interactions as a relational process among communicators.

Current guidelines for communications within an end of life context fail to help students learn to clarify issues central to palliative care and communication in the terminal context and fail to make provisions for the unique nature of multi-party interaction (Epstein & Street, 2007). These deficiencies illustrate a need to integrate and teach a patient-centered approach to palliative care communication. This approach uses a biopsychosocial model of care (Engle, 1977) allowing clinicians to simultaneously address patients’ subjective and biomedical understanding of disease.

To this end the COMFORT Curriculum employs the theoretical roots of patient-centered care and the narrative medicine movement. Narrative medicine, which subscribes to our communication model of mutual influence and co-constructed conversational outcomes, privileges and values the stories of both patients and clinicians (Charon, 2001).


Epstein, R. & Street, R. (2007) Patient-centered communication in cancer care: Promoting, healing and reducing suffering. Bethesda, MD: National Cancer Institute Charon R. Narrative medicine: a model for empathy, reflection, profession, and trust. JAMA. 2001;286(15):1897-1902.

Target Audience

All health professionals, especially those who practice entirely or in part within teams who treat patients in palliative care.


Upon completion of this activity, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe task and relational communication.
  2. Define the narrative approach to clinical communication.
  3. Identify two communication skills to practice with patients and families.


The University of Kentucky College of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The University of Kentucky College of Medicine designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The University of Kentucky College of Medicine presents this activity for educational purposes only. Participants are expected to utilize their own expertise and judgment while engaged in the practice of medicine. The content of the presentations is provided solely by presenters who have been selected for presentations because of recognized expertise in their field.

ACGME Competencies

  • Interpersonal and communication skills
  • Professionalism

ACPEThe University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education.

This knowledge-based activity has been assigned UAN 0022-9999-15-071-H04-P and will award 1.25 contact hours (0.125 CEUs) of continuing pharmacy education credit in states that recognize ACPE providers.

Statements of participation will indicate hours and CEUs based on participation and will be issued online at the conclusion of the activity. Successful completion includes completing the activity, its accompanying evaluation and/or posttest (score 70% or higher) and requesting credit online at the conclusion of the activity. Credit will be uploaded to CPE Monitor, and participants may print a statement of credit or transcript from their NABP e-profile. The College complies with the Accreditation Standards for Continuing Pharmacy Education.

The University of Kentucky, College of Nursing is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation (ANCC).

This educational activity is offered for a maximum of 1.00 ANCC contact hour.

The Kentucky Board of Nursing (KBN) approves The University of Kentucky, College of Nursing (UKCON) as a provider as well. ANCC and KBN approval of a continuing nursing education provider does not constitute endorsement of program content nor commercial sponsors. The University of Kentucky does not approve commercial products. This educational activity is offered for a maximum of 1.2 KBN contact hours.

Provider #: 3-0008-01-13- 386. In order to receive credit, participants complete this CNE activity and submit a credit application and evaluation form online. Certificates may be printed once the evaluation is completed.

The Department of Public Health, Western Kentucky University has been designated as a Multiple Event Provider (#KY0022) of Category I continuing education contact hours in health education by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. This program has been reviewed and approved for up to 1.00 Category I entry level contact hour in health education for event #61025-E.

Faculty Disclosure

No speakers, authors, planners, reviewers or staff members have any relevant financial relationships to disclose. No other speakers or authors will discuss off-label use of a product.

Content review confirmed that the content was developed in a fair, balanced manner free from commercial bias. Disclosure of a relationship is not intended to suggest or condone commercial bias in any presentation, but it is made to provide participants with information that might be of potential importance to their evaluation of a presentation.


In collaboration with UK College of Nursing and UK Center for Interprofessional Health Education.