Responding to Community Needs During COVID-19: A Virtual, Interdisciplinary Palliative Care Education Series for the Public (QI722)


      • 1.
        Explain how virtual palliative care education can be designed for large and small public audiences.
      • 2.
        Describe at least 3 ways virtual education can be marketed to the public.
      • 3.
        Describe at least one way to evaluate virtual education for the public.


      COVID-19 raised public concerns about planning for and coping with serious illness and death. Social distancing and shelter-in-place orders made leveraging virtual platforms essential in providing the public with access to palliative care experts who could help address these concerns.

      Aim Statement

      The patient experience and palliative care departments partnered to develop, implement, and evaluate a virtual education series for the public on advance care planning (ACP), psychological distress, and caregiving.


      Topics were chosen based on the perceived needs of the public and presenter expertise. Palliative care physicians, psychiatrists, caregiving professionals, and program staff presented.
      Offerings were an hour, delivered in English, and styled as a lecture followed by Q&A. The ACP webinar and workshops were a two-part offering (initial and follow up). Webinar recordings were posted to YouTube and the palliative care department website, and one (ACP) was translated into Spanish.
      We recruited participants through department communication channels, community partners, social media, and personal networks. Survey evaluations included a likelihood to recommend (LTR) metric using a 5-point Likert scale (5= very likely).


      979 people attended a total of 12 webinars and workshops from April-June 2020.
      The survey response rate was 26.8%, and mean LTR, 4.03 (SD 1.36). The caregiving webinar had the highest LTR of 5, but only 6 survey respondents. LTR for the ACP and psychological distress webinar was around 4 (ACP mean LTR 4.03, SD 1.41, N=124; psychological distress mean LTR 3.96, SD 1.3, N=82).
      Attendees were largely white and female (81% white, 12% Asian, 4% Latinx, 3% Black; 81% female), and mean age was 59.95 (median 63, range 22-89, SD 14.01).

      Conclusions and Implications

      Virtual education is an effective way to engage the public, reaching a large number of people. An effort to reach more diverse communities through outreach and providing multilingual offerings is needed.