Learning Module for Essentials 8: COPD, Heart Failure, and Renal Disease

This learning module corresponds to the eighth book in the Essentials series, focusing on COPD, heart failure and renal disease. This module serves as a tool for orientation, ongoing assessment and training on when to initiate palliative care, common causes of pain, communicating disease trajectory, and more related to the above diseases.

Instead of traditional posttests, each Essentials book has a corresponding online confidence-based learning module, delivered using amplifire™ software. This system serves as a great tool for orientation, ongoing assessment, and training. The learning modules are designed to test your level of knowledge and level of confidence in each topic area presented in the book series.   

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this online module the learner should be better able to:


  • Describe the disease trajectory for patients with COPD
  • Describe the neurophysiology of dyspnea
  • Demonstrate the assessment and treatment of COPD and dyspnea, including pharmacologic approaches, oxygen, opioids, and nonpharmacologic approaches
  • Discuss the indications for noninvasive ventilation (NIV) for patients with end-stage COPD
  • Describe the impact of anxiety and depression on patients with COPD

Heart Failure

  • Discuss when to initiate palliative care for HF
  • Discuss the prognosis for a patient with HF, including the differences in prognosis and therapies for patients with preserved ejection fraction
  • Describe medical and invasive therapies for HF and how they translate to the palliative care setting
  • Discuss symptom burden in HF
  • Describe when it is appropriate to refer patients with HF to hospice.

Renal Disease

  • List common causes of pain in patients with renal failure
  • Discuss safe opioid prescribing in renal failure including best practices for opioid selection and dosing
  • List common non-pain symptoms In renal failure and treatment options
  • Discuss prognostication for patients who discontinue dialysis
  • Describe the management of symptoms that commonly occur after dialysis discontinuation
Activity summary
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AAHPM endorses the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) Standards’ for disclosure and commercial support and endeavors to ensure balance, independence, objectivity, and scientific rigor for all accredited products or programs. All who are in a position to control or influence the content of an educational activity must disclose any relevant financial relationships with commercial interests.*Disclosure documents were reviewed for potential conflicts of interest and, if identified, they were resolved prior to confirmation of participation. Only those who had no conflict of interest or who agreed to an identified resolution process prior to their participation were involved in this activity.

*A commercial interest is defined as any entity producing, marketing, reselling, or distributing healthcare goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients. (Exclusions at the time of this writing included 501-C not-for-profit organizations, government organizations, liability and health insurance providers, non-healthcare-related companies, group medical practices, for-profit healthcare providers, blood banks and diagnostic laboratories.)

Joseph W. Shega, MD and Miguel A. Paniagua, MD FACP, Series Editors, Jerrod Liveoak and Bryan O’Donnell, Staff Editors, Julie Bruno, Kemi Ani, Angie Forbes and Angie Tryfonopoulos, Education and Learning Staff, have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

All item writers and reviewers for this module have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.
• Catherine Deamant, MD FAAHPM
• Susan Nathan, MD
• Colin Raitiere, MD

Release Date: the Essentials modules originally released September 18, 2017 expired September 18, 2020. All modules were reviewed and edited by August 31, 2020 to ensure the content is accurate.

CME/MOC Expiration Dates: extended through September 18, 2023 and may only be claimed one time.

Continuing Medical Education (CME)

The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) designates this Enduring material for a maximum of 3 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

A total of 27 credits are available upon completion of all 9 modules. CME credits expire September 18, 2023.

Maintenance of Certification (MOC)

“Successful completion of this CME activity, which includes participation in the evaluation component, enables the participant to earn up to:

  • 3 Medical Knowledge MOC points in the American Board of Internal Medicine's (ABIM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program; and
  • 3 MOC points in the American Board of Pediatrics’ (ABP) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program.

It is the CME activity provider's responsibility to submit participant completion information to ACCME for the purpose of granting ABIM or ABP MOC credit.

A total of 27 MOC points are available upon completion of all 9 modules. ABIM or ABP MOC points expire on September 18, 2023.

Physicians certified with the American Board of Internal Medicine who wish to earn MOC points within the current calendar year must submit their MOC data no later than December 31 of the calendar year.

Physicians certified with the American Board of Pediatrics who wish to earn MOC points within the current calendar year must submit their MOC data no later than December 1 of the calendar year.

ABMS MOC Approval Statement

Through the American Board of Medical Specialties ("ABMS") ongoing commitment to increase access to practice relevant Continuing Certification Activities through the ABMS Continuing Certification Directory, for each Essentials Learning Module has met the requirements as an MOC Part II CME Activity (apply toward general CME requirement) and/or an MOC Part II Self-Assessment Activity for the following ABMS Member Boards:

MOC Part II CME Activity
Family Medicine
Psychiatry and Neurology

Note: If a Member Board has not deemed this activity for MOC approval as an accredited CME activity, this activity may count toward an ABMS Member Board's general CME requirement (only). Please refer directly to your Member Board's MOC Part II Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment Program Requirements.


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