X You may need to Reload the page to make it work correctly.
Health Forum Online    The Psychologist's Source for C.E. Credits Online

Psychosocial Issues at the End of Life: Definition, Theory, and Intervention

by Jeff Kendall, PsyD 4 CE Credits

The emotional responses of people with incurable illness are multifaceted and may vacillate throughout their end of life care. Additionally, the psychological impact of a terminal illness is not limited to just the patient, but encompasses the entire family unit. This course provides healthcare professionals with a definition of end-of-life care as well as a description of the prevalence of psychiatric disorders during this phase of care. Psychological theories regarding death and dying are presented and lead into a description of the emotional reactions encountered by both patients and caregivers. This course concludes with a presentation of psychological treatment techniques used to overcome these emotional reactions and assist patients and caregivers to improve quality of life during the end of life.


Continuing education for this online course is offered through the following approvals:


  • HealthForum is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. HealthForum maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
  • HealthForum (ACE Provider #1156) is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org, through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) Program. HealthForum maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: (6/20/2017 to 6/20/2020). Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits. Social workers participating in this course will receive 4 Clinical continuing education clock hours.
  • HealthForumOnline, LLC, SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0355
  • HealthForum has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6216.  Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. HealthForum is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.


Course Sections/Outline:

  • Aging and Dying: Providing Context
  • Definitions: End of Life and Palliative Care
  • Psychiatric Distress at the End of Life
  • Psychological Theories Regarding Death and Dying
  • Psychological Issues at the End of Life
  • Coping Strategies and Styles
  • Interventions to Assist Patients at the End of Life
  • Summary
  • Web-based Resources
  • References

Learning Objectives:

After completing this course, health professionals will be able to:
  • Define “end of life” and “palliative care” in relation to the care continuum and articulate three conceptualizations of components of a “good death.”
  • Identify three common emotional reactions patients and families experience at the end of life, along with the prevalence of two common psychiatric disorders in patients with incurable disease.
  • Describe two prominent psychological theories regarding coping with death and dying.
  • Employ three behavioral interventions to assist patients at the end of life.