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Indian J Palliat Care. 2019 Jan-Mar;25(1):30-40. doi: 10.4103/IJPC.IJPC_122_18.

Development of a Consensus Syllabus of Palliative Medicine for Physicians in Japan Using a Modified Delphi Method.

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Department of Palliative Medicine, Kobe University School of Medicine, Kobe, Hyogo, Japan.
Minato Home Care Clinic, Tokyo, Japan.
Department of Pain and Palliative Care, Kameda Medical Center, Kamogawa, Chiba, Japan.
Department of Palliative Medicine, Tsukuba Medical Center Foundation, Tsukuba Medical Center Hospital, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.
Department of Palliative Medicine, Saku Central Hospital Advanced Care Center, Saku, Nagano, Japan.



Although palliative care is rapidly being disseminated throughout Japan as a result of government policy, a systematic syllabus of palliative medicine for physicians has not been developed.


This study aimed to develop a Japanese national consensus syllabus of palliative medicine for physicians.


We used a modified Delphi method to develop the consensus syllabus.

Methods and Setting:

We created a Delphi panel by selecting 20 expert eligible panelists consisting of Diplomate or Faculty of the Specialty Board of Palliative Medicine and certified by the Japanese Society for Palliative Medicine. We inducted external reviewers from 11 palliative care-related organizations.


Among 20 experts surveyed, 20 (100%) responded over all rounds. Ten (50%) participated in a panel meeting. In the first round, 179 of 179 (100%) learning objectives were judged to be appropriate and 5 of 179 (3%) learning objectives were judged to be too difficult. In the panel meeting, 25 learning objectives were excluded, three new learning objectives were added, and 15 learning objectives were reworded. In the second round, 18 of 18 (100%) learning objectives were judged to be appropriate. The final version of the syllabus developed consists of 157 specific behavioural objectives and 22 general instructional objectives across 22 courses.


We have developed the first national consensus syllabus of palliative medicine for physicians in Japan. Based on this syllabus, a training program on palliative medicine will be established by training facilities in Japan, and physicians will be able to practice specific palliative care.


Curriculum; Delphi method; education; palliative medicine; syllabus

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