A Community of Practice for Palliative Psychiatry

A Community of Practice for Palliative Psychiatry

Palliative psychiatry is an approach centered on the quality-of-life concerns of patients and their families in circumstances of severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI) where there is a likelihood of significant morbidity or mortality. Despite growing recognition among clinicians and scholars that some cases of SPMI can be considered terminal illnesses, and that ongoing ‘aggressive’ mental health interventions may not provide all patients with meaningful clinical benefits, clinical models related to palliative psychiatry are scarce. High quality palliative care has been associated with improvement in both quantity and quality of life, yet unlike individuals diagnosed with physical illnesses, people who experience SPMI are typically offered curative approaches to treatment with limited discussion of alternative models of care. 

Additional info

The goal of this project is to hold a one-day planning and knowledge exchange meeting that brings together diverse stakeholders to identify and examine the clinical and policy priorities for research and education in palliative psychiatry. We will conduct a needs assessment to assist with developing the meeting agenda. Meeting participants will include clinicians, researchers with a range of disciplinary perspectives, and individuals with lived experience of SPMI and family members. This meeting will form the basis for a community of practice (CoP) in palliative psychiatry. CoPs emphasize that learning is “a participatory social process” and support knowledge-sharing amongst and self-development of their members. The community of practice in palliative psychiatry will help catalyze future research, clinical skill building, and education initiatives to promote this emerging model of care.

Project team

  • Dr Sarah Levitt (Nominated PI)
  • Dr Daniel Buchman (Co-PI)
  • Lucy Costa 
  • Madeline Ritts 
  • Dr Mona Gupta
  • Dr Kelli Stajduhar
  • Dr Manuel Trachsel
  • Dr Anna Westermair
  • Dr Anne Woods
  • Lucy Panko

Funders and partners

  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)