Flinders University researchers are running a free online course on palliative care and end-of-life issues.

The popular five-week Massive Open Online (MOOC) course explores social issues around death and dying such as how concepts of death and care practices have changed over time and media portrayals of death.

The Dying2Learn MOOC will commence in May and is currently open for enrolment.

The course has been developed by researchers at Flinders University under the Department of Health-funded CareSearch program.

CareSearch director Professor Jennifer Tieman said the course encouraged participants to engage in a conversation on palliative care, death and dying.

“For example, people reflected on why we use euphemisms, how we create images of death and dying in art, literature and film, whether death is being medicalised, and how social media and technology is changing our view.”

A new study published in BMC Palliative Care, which analysed responses from the program’s first intake in 2016, showed participants felt more comfortable talking about death and dying after completing the course.

The evaluation showed the students also developed a greater understanding of death and gained personal insights into their own beliefs.

“Being able to talk about death is important in normalising death as a part of life and being equipped to prepare for the end,” Professor Tieman says.

Other CareSearch resources for health professionals are available here.

The Dying2Learn MOOC will run from 28 May to 9 July. Register here.

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