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Palliative care clinicians and online education in India: a survey
  1. Tayler Kiss-Lane1,
  2. Odette Spruijt2,3,
  3. Thomas Day4,
  4. Vivian Lam1,
  5. Kavitha J Ramchandran1,
  6. Sandy Chan5,
  7. Gary Hsin1,6,
  8. Nandini Vallath7,
  9. Sushma Bhatnagar8,
  10. MR Rajagopal9 and
  11. Karl A Lorenz1,6
  1. 1 Department of Medicine, Section of Palliative Care, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, USA
  2. 2 Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VCCC, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  3. 3 Dentistry and Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  4. 4 Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee, USA
  5. 5 Palliative Care, Stanford Health Care, Palo Alto, California, USA
  6. 6 Hospice and Palliative Medicine, VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, California, USA
  7. 7 Divison of Palliative Care, Tata Trusts Cancer Care Program, Mumbai, India
  8. 8 Onco-Ansesthesia, Pain and Palliative Care, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
  9. 9 Department of Research and Training, Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
  1. Correspondence to Ms Tayler Kiss-Lane, Stanford University Department of Medicine, 1265 Welch Road, Stanford, CA 94305, USA; taylerkl{at}


Background Whether online resources can facilitate spread of palliative care knowledge and skills in India is an urgent question given few providers and a large, ageing population.

Objectives We surveyed needs and feasibility regarding e-learning.

Methods Indian, Australian and North American palliative care experts developed an electronic survey using Qualtrics, emailed to all registrants of the 2017 Indian Association of Palliative Care (IAPC) conference and distributed during the conference.

Results Of 60 respondents (66% men, 60% doctors), most worked in hospitals and had oncology backgrounds, and 35% were from Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Most (90.9%) received palliative care training in India or overseas with 41% trained in a Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences residential course (4–6 weeks). 17% completed the IAPC essential certificate and 22% had undertaken various distance learning courses. Interest in online training was substantial for most aspects of palliative care.

Conclusion There was a high level of interest and reported feasibility in taking a case-based online course. This pilot survey provides support for online case-based education in India, particularly among physicians.

  • education and training

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Ethics approval Stanford University Institutional Review Board panel on medical human subjects, 31 January 2017, e-protocol 40062, IRB6 Reg#4947. This study was considered exempt as an anonymous evaluation of an education experience by the Stanford Institutional Review Board.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.