ASCO University® Offers Resources for Palliative and Team-Based Care

Get Permission

ASCO University®, ASCO’s eLearning center, offers an array of courses and programs relevant to palliative care and multidisciplinary team–based cancer care. Below are descriptions of just a few of these offerings.

Pain Management

Released in March 2015, ASCO University’s “Pain Management Program” provides an in-depth overview of pain assessment, opioid titration, management of adverse effects of opioid analgesics, and achievement of balance in the treatment of pain.

“Pain relief is an essential component of comprehensive oncology care,” said Judith A. Paice, PhD, RN, of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, who served as a faculty expert for the program. “The ASCO University Pain Management Course delivers content that addresses issues seen every day in oncology settings, including how to provide safe and effective care using complex therapies.”

Participants will explore case scenarios using an interactive question format to select a course of action in managing the patient’s pain with feedback provided within the selected response.  The program features an interactive decision-branching component that allows users to navigate through three patient case scenarios and apply their knowledge by selecting options that lead to different patient outcomes.


“Cancer-Related Fatigue” outlines the primary evaluation, as well as the management and treatment of this distressing, persistent subjective phenomenon related to cancer treatment.

“I was privileged to work with Paul Jacobsen, PhD, of the Moffitt Cancer Center, both as members of the ASCO cancer-related fatigue guideline panel and the subsequent ASCO University course on Cancer-Related Fatigue,” said Gary H. Lyman, MD, MPH, FASCO, FRCP (Edin), of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. “[In the course,] we attempted to provide practical recommendations for identifying and evaluating patients with cancer-related fatigue.”

The course also reviews current evidence and recommendations on pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic management of cancer-related fatigue, discusses the importance of physician/patient communication about fatigue, and identifies available resources to assist patients at risk for, or symptomatic from, cancer-related fatigue.

Cultural Competence

“Cultural Competence for Oncology Practice” is a free eLearning course designed to help members of a multidisciplinary team in oncology care increase their knowledge of cultural ­competence.

Through three case studies, the course teaches participants how to describe the concept of cultural competence and how it enhances the patient experience throughout the cancer care continuum; how to demonstrate appropriate communication strategies to minimize and address cultural issues that may affect care; how to identify barriers within health care related to various aspects of cultural competency—specifically race, gender, religion, age, language, and culture; and how to apply knowledge of personal barriers to improve the care of diverse patient populations throughout the cancer care continuum.

“ASCO University’s Cultural Competence course provides health professionals with real-life scenarios demonstrating sources of disparities in [the treatment of] patients with cancer that help us recognize who is at risk and address issues that might otherwise go overlooked,” said Gretchen Kimmick, MD, of Duke University Health System, who served on the course’s planning group. “The three course sections contain information useful to the health care community, from nurses and clinic staff to hospital administrators.” 

ASCO offers continuing medical education credit, as well as certificates of participation and completion. Certificates of Nursing Education and Pharmacy Education are also available for this course. For more information on these and other eLearning courses, visit ■

Originally printed in Palliative Care in Oncology Daily News. © American Society of Clinical Oncology. “ASCO University® Offers Resources for Palliative and Team-Based Care” 9 October 2015. All rights reserved.