PALLIAUSTRIA: Palliative Care Education in Austrian Medical Schools

To establish the palliative care approach more widely, the WHO recommends strengthening the palliative medicine training of health care personnel. At the postgraduate level, a broad range of palliative care courses has developed in Austria in recent years, which is perceived positively by many professional groups. In addition to postgraduate education, however, undergraduate education is also named by the WHO as a central element in strengthening palliative care. This is in line with the recommendations of the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC), which has been calling for better integration of palliative care in medical schools for years.

The aim of PALLIAUSTRIA is to record the status of university level education of palliative care in Austrian medical schools.


Prof. Dr. Frank Elsner, Véronique Toussaint (University Hospital in RWTH Aachen, Germany)

Rainer Simader (Head of Education, Dachverband Hospiz Österreich, Austria)

Priv.-Doz. Dr. Piret Paal (PMU Salzburg, Austria)

NursEduPal@Euro - Palliative Care Core Competencies and novel European matrix for educating bachelor-degree nurses

The NursEduPal@Euro project will consist of three parts. In first instance, the core competences the nurses need in connection with palliative care will be listed at European level. Afterwards, research will be conducted on how these competences can be taught. Veerle Coupez: “It is not feasible to have all students take a work placement in a palliative ward. So, we must look for other innovative methods and tools to have palliative care taught in the study programmes. Simulation education e.g.  is one of the strengths of Howest. Responding to dying situations and having conversations with palliative patients do not necessarily have to take place ‘at the patient’s physical bedside’. Then again, our Finnish partner has set up an escape room, but we will also look how we can implement e-learning, blended teaching or virtual reality.” The last part of the project consists of converting the competences and training tools in a European matrix. Lecturers will be able to use this ‘toolkit’ as a guideline to integrate palliative care into their courses. 

Project lead: Hogeschool West-Vlaanderen Howest, Belgium
Partners: Universitatae Transilvania din Brasov (Romania), Kajaanin Ammattikorkeakoulu oy (Finland), and the European Association for Palliative Care (Belgium) 

Piret Paal and Cornelia Brandstötter (PMU, Austria) are to support and strengthen the partnership, especially for the development of (self)reflection methods, performance assessment strategy, spiritual care and influencing policy in the dissemination part. 

Project code: 2020-1-BE02-KA203-074740


Parkinson’s patients have considerable (and mounting) unmet physical, psychosocial and spiritual needs, and experience great problems with coordination and continuity of care. The overall ambition of this project is to integrate palliative care with traditional care and suggest a new model of palliative care focused on the patient's quality of life along the entire course of disease.

This project brings together a multidisciplinary team with extensive expertise  that will also develop evidence based Guidelines and a MOOC for Palliative Care in Parkinson’s Disease involving in the process experts from the European Association for Palliative Care, from the the European Academy of Neurology and from the Movement Disorders Society. The MOOC “Best Care for People with Late Stage Parkinson” will be integrated into the WHO supported interdisciplinary postgraduate palliative care curriculum.

The project participants are Universita Degli Studi Di Padova (Italy), Stichting Katholieke Universiteit (The Netherlands), PD Neurotechnology LTD (United Kingdom), Panepistimio Ioanninon (Greece), King's College London (United Kingdom), Mediolanum Cardio Research SRL (Italy), University College London (United Kingdom), Estonian Movement Disorders Society (Estonia), PMU Salzbug (Austria), Philipps Universität Marburg (Germany).

Erasmus+ Strategic Partnerships: EDUPALL

Having a population with increase life expectancy which faces progressive chronic illnesses there is necessary that future physicians receive a proper training to meet patients’ and their caregivers’ needs. The project comes as support for medical faculties by developing and piloting an undergraduate palliative care curriculum based on EAPC recommendations.

Partners in this project are: Transylvania University in Brasov, Medicine and Pharmacy University in Timisoara, Medicine and Pharmacy University in Targu-Mures, Medicine and Pharmacy University in Grigore T. Popa Iasi, Casa Sperantei Hospice in Brasov (Romania),  EAPC (Belgium), RWTH Aachen University (Germany), All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care (Ireland). The WHO Collaborating Centre at the PMU participates in this project as an associate partner