iCOPE program seeks to improve palliative care
Specialized interdisciplinary curriculum aims to aid caregivers working with seriously ill patients.
The iCOPE curriculum planning began when U of L received a five-year $1.5 million grant in 2010 from the National Institutes of Health to develop, implement and evaluate an interdisciplinary oncology palliative care education program.
A unique curriculum at the University of Louisville is preparing medical, nursing, social work and pastoral care students to work together on interdisciplinary teams, so patients can receive better care when facing a serious illness.
The program, Interdisciplinary Curriculum for Oncology Palliative Education (iCOPE), piloted in Fall 2012, and is teaching students to distinguish the roles and contributions of each team member, equipping them to initiate an interdisciplinary collaboration, and helping them to formulate a patient care plan that addresses psycho-social-spiritual and physical needs.
The curriculum is mandatory for nursing students, master's level social work students specializing in oncology social work and clinical pastoral care trainees; it will be required for medical students starting in Fall 2013.
Mark Pfeifer, M.D., Professor of Medicine and V.V. Cooke Chair of Medicine in the U of L Division of General Internal Medicine, Palliative Medicine and Medical Education, is the principal investigator on the project.