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Cover image for: Nutrition and Hydration in Palliative Care
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CPD1h 15m of CPD
Total Rating(s)98
First Published
Updated21 January 2019
Expires 30 May 2020
Recorded InMelbourne, Australia

Course Overview

This Course uses a holistic framework to explore the reasons why appropriate nutrition and hydration in palliative care is important.

The broad nutritional needs of the person approaching end of life are addressed, and practical suggestions for how health professionals can accurately assess and manage these needs are provided.

  • The role of nutrition in palliative care
  • Hydration and nutritional assessment
  • Ethical dilemmas in palliative care
  • Signs and symptoms of imminent death

A person requiring palliative care often presents with fragility and general weakness. During an assessment, they may describe difficulties with their appetite, diet, and fluid intake. Readily observable changes in their appearance might also be evident.

In order to address the tenet of comfort for the individual, and to subsequently meet the individual’s daily comfort needs, it is critical that healthcare professionals accurately assess and manage these changes.

Decisions in relation to the nutritional and hydration needs of a person can then be made together with the person approaching end of life, their caregiver and other members of the interdisciplinary healthcare team.


The purpose of this Course is to reinforce a range of key considerations relating to nutrition and hydration when a person requires palliative care.

Learning Outcomes
  • State the major tenet of palliative care and how this relates to nutrition and hydration
  • Describe the assessment of a person for nutrition and hydration requirements, clearly differentiating between malnutrition and dehydration, and hunger and thirst
  • Describe practical ways to ensure appropriate and timely nutrition and hydration are administered to a person at the end of life
Target Audience

This Course is relevant to registered nurses and other healthcare professionals, especially those working in palliative care, aged care and community settings.


No conflict of interest exists for anyone in the position to control content for this activity. Wherever possible, generic or non-proprietary names of medications or products have been used.


Portrait of Margaret O'Connor
Margaret O'Connor

Professor Margaret O’Connor is the inaugural Professor of Nursing at Swinburne University in Melbourne. Prior to this she was the Vivian Bullwinkel Chair in Palliative Care Nursing at Monash University, where she established and led a successful Palliative Care Research Team. Margaret’s research has been widely published, concentrating on models of palliative care , issues of culture and the end of life needs of particular population groups. From 2006 to 2011 Margaret served as the President of Palliative Care Australia and in 2005 she was made a member of the Order of Australia for her significant contribution to the establishment and development of palliative care services in Victoria. She also sits on several committees and Boards. See Educator Profile

Learner Reviews

98 Total Rating(s)
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Rick Newman
19 Nov 2019

Excellent knowledge for those of us in the first responder field as we do not specialize in this type of care but can make a significant improvement to the quality of life of patients we visit.

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Gillian Pringle
24 Oct 2019

Great resource. Very easy to follow and well paced.

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Amanda kylstra
26 Sep 2019

this resource was excellent ,easy to follow and the lecture was informative

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Emma Jettner
27 Aug 2019

Overall, good resource. However, no additional information was learnt as a Practicing Dietitian.

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Smeaton Smeaton
09 Aug 2019

This unit well presented and layout easy to follow

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Monica Bennetts
07 Jul 2019

It was good.

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Nelin Volmer
17 Jun 2019

Very interesting topic, informative and useful information has achieved.

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Shuai Ma
08 Jun 2019

Great resource !

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Ndakashava chaduka
31 May 2019

well presented and detailed

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Julie clutterbuck
31 May 2019

Excellent resource.