Credit points: 15

Subject outline

In this subject, students will look at how spiritual care has always been an explicit aspect of palliative care and that religious understandings have given way to broadly existential / spiritual care approaches. Correspondingly spiritual care is no longer seen as the sole responsibility of religious professionals, and now usually also involves, in some capacity, all members of the palliative care team plus other supportive personnel. This subject reviews contemporary understandings of spirituality and spiritual care in health and palliative care settings and explores implications for a variety of human service disciplines. It will be of particular interest to physicians, nurses, psychologists, social workers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, music therapists, speech/language pathologists, health and social care chaplains/pastoral and spiritual care practitioners working in or interested in working within palliative and/or other community health care programs.

SchoolSchool of Psychology & Public Health

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorLindsay Carey

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 5 - Masters

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites Available to Honours, Masters, Post-graduate students

Co-requisites Nil

Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjects Nil

Special conditionsN/A

Learning resources


Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsSpirituality and palliative carePrescribedRumbold, B. (ed) 2002OUP (MELBOURNE)
ReadingsTextbook on Spirituality in HealthCareRecommendedCobb, Puchalski & Rumbold (2012)OUP (OXFORD)
ReadingsThe dying soulRecommendedCobb, M (2002)OPEN UNI PRESS

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Define and distinguish influential cultural, religious and spiritual variables involved in palliative care.

Summarising literature required to complete literature review, case study and essay.

02. Conduct systematic inquiries and use evidence for understanding spirituality in palliative care.

Critical analysis of literature and interventions as component of case study and essay.

03. Apply theories of health, illness and person centred care to develop spiritual care interventions that improve patient/client well-being

Case study and essay

04. Apply analytical, literacy and communication skills about spirituality and pallaitive care to your existing or proposed specialist discipline/area of professional expertise.

Case study and essay.

Subject options

Select to view your study options…

Start date between: and    Key dates

Online, 2017, Semester 2, Online


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorLindsay Carey

Class requirements

Problem Based Learning
One 4.0 hours problem based learning per week and delivered via online.
"Flexible learning package equivalent to three hours of classroom contact per week. Students will have regular contact with the subject coordinator using telephone, email, or fax. Students are also able to attend the city campus to meet with the co-ordinator by appointment to discuss subject topics and submissions."


Assessment elementComments%ILO*
one 2,500-word essay6001, 02, 03, 04
one 1000-word case study report2001, 02, 03, 04
one 1000-word literature review2001