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Cover image for: Nutrition and Hydration in Palliative Care
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Provider Number PO342.

CPD1h 15m of CPD
Total Rating(s)123
First Published
Updated15 January 2020
Expires 14 January 2023
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 the end of life are addressed, along with practical suggestions for how health professionals can accurately assess and provide for these needs.

  • 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

Margaret is Emeritus Professor of Nursing at Monash University, having previously been Professor of Palliative Care Nursing for 12 years. She has a distinguished career in clinical palliative care; and in establishing home-based palliative care services across Melbourne, for which she received an Order of Australia in 2005. She continues to work at Melbourne City Mission Palliative Care, assisting with research. See Educator Profile

Learner Reviews

123 Total Rating(s)
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Kathleen Newton
29 Jan 2020

This resource was very informing on the importance of Hydration and Nutrition at end of life. The need to understand the legal documents within the palliative care. Ensuring that the Holistic Palliative Care model is adhered to. Who to include when deciding on the best care.

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Manjit Kaur
29 Jan 2020

Useful source

Portrait of Genevieve Farey
Genevieve Farey
29 Jan 2020

I enjoyed this module very much, and would recommend it to newly graduated nurses working in the health industry.

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Robyn Ledesma
29 Jan 2020

Excellent presentation raising very relevant points on the ethical view of care which staff experience in relation to nutrition and hydration of the dying person

Portrait of Joseph Espejo
Joseph Espejo
28 Jan 2020

this topic is very relevant to my area of practice as an enrolled nurse gaining new knowledge in nutrition and hydration in palliative care as well being observant to pertinent legislation in end of life care the presenter is knowledgeable and is well presented

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Breana Major
27 Jan 2020

Great conent

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Belinda Yon
27 Jan 2020

Interesting and valuable information. Good presenter, clearly spoken.

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Pragya Basnet
25 Jan 2020

I find it very helpful especially in aged care

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Sam warrell
25 Jan 2020


Portrait of Bree dannatt
Bree dannatt
24 Jan 2020

Very informative and easy to follow.