Frequently Asked Questions - Fast Facts and Concepts

  1. How do I search for a specific topic?

    1. Fast Facts are arranged on EPERC by topic area. On the right-hand side of the main Fast Fact page is a 'Check a box to limit results' tool. Find the category or categories that best fit the topic area you are looking for (e.g. prognosis, cancer, pain assessment), and click on the box/boxes next to your category/categories. The Fast Fact main page will automatically refresh to show only Fast Facts which fit your category request. If you do not click on any box all 200+ Fast Facts will be displayed. Clicking on more than one box will only show Fast Facts which fall under both categories; many Fast Facts fall into more than one category. For example, clicking on both 'Prognosis' and 'Chronic pulmonary diseases' will display a Fast Fact about prognostication in COPD.

    2. If you find a Fast Fact that seems to be mis-categorized, let us know.

    3. You can search Fast Facts by key-word or full-text by typing into the search box at the right of the main Fast Fact page.

    4. Searching via an internet search engine is usually effective. We suggest searching with the words 'EPERC fast facts and concepts' in your search to improve specificity of your search. For instance, you should search in Google for 'EPERC fast facts and concepts duloxetine' if you are looking for a Fast Fact which mentions duloxetine.

  2. How do I know when new a new Fast Fact has been published?
    Readers have several options.

    1. They can sign-up for the email distribution list (request to be added to the list by contacting Rose Hackbarth).

    2. They can check the EPERC website; Fast Facts are generally published once or twice a month.

    3. They can subscribe to the RSS feed of the Fast Facts and Concepts Discussion Blog. Unfortunately we do not have the capability currently of distributing an RSS feed from the EPERC website itself.

  3. Who reviews Fast Facts and Concepts?
    Fast Facts are peer reviewed by the Editorial Board members, as well as other experts in the field that the Fast Fact relates to.

  4. How do I comment on a Fast Fact?
    Readers are encouraged to leave comments, questions, or criticism about a Fast Fact on the Fast Facts and Concepts Discussion Blog, available at: Readers are also welcome to email the editor directly, however other readers will not be able benefit from your comments.

  5. I'd like distribute or use Fast Facts as part of a curriculum. Can I republish them?
    Yes, for non-commercial educational purposes, and with proper attribution. At minimum this means including the authors' names and the original publication information including a link to the EPERC website. If you are using Fast Facts as part of a curriculum, please let us know, as we enjoy seeing how they are being utilized! If you are not sure if your reproduction of Fast Facts is appropriate by these guidelines, email the editor at

  6. I'd like to use Fast Facts as part of a curriculum, but there are too many! Which should I use?
    Click on the 'Core Curriculum' box on the right side of the main Fast Fact page. A suggested reading list will be displayed. The list is intended to be a self-study course for senior medical students or housestaff doing at least a week-long hospice or palliative care rotation, and focuses on the communication, pain, terminal care, and prognostication Fast Facts. Take the list as a suggestion only, and please email the editor with further suggestions at If you have already compiled your own list for a curriculum let the editor know which ones you use!

  7. I think there might be an error in a Fast Fact – what should I do?
    Please email the editor at Since Fast Facts are published digitally, errors can be corrected after publication.

  8. How can I download all the Fast Facts at once?
    We are working on that.

  9. Are Fast Facts updated?
    Generally about 20 Fast Facts are revised each year. These are labeled as '2nd Editions.' All Fast Facts were re-copy-edited in the Spring of 2009 in preparation for the updated EPERC website and a 'Version History' was added to each. After June 2009, all amendments/revisions of Fast Facts will be noted in the 'Version History' and readers can check there to make sure they have the most up to date version.

  10. How do I write a Fast Fact?
    If you are interested in writing one, contact the editor at, to make sure it is about an appropriate topic and no one else is already preparing one on a similar subject.

  11. What is the Fast Fact format?
    Fast Facts are intended to be concise and practical. Generally they are limited to a single page (Arial 10pt type, single spaced), excluding references. This is approximately 550 words, not including references. There are no formal style specifications, but look at some recent Fast Facts for a sense of their style and format.

  12. What is a good topic for a Fast Fact?
    Any topic which has to do with the supportive care of children or adults facing life-limiting diseases, or at the end of life. This can include pain and symptom management topics, disease specific topics (e.g. amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, congestive heart failure), prognostication, communication, decision-making, cultural and spiritual issues, ethics and public policy, location specific topics (e.g. hospices, nursing homes, intensive care units), as well as how caring for dying patients affects professionals and families.

  13. How do I reference a Fast Fact?
    Fast Facts are published by number, month, and year (no volume or page numbers), and can be referenced a variety of ways depending on your preferred format. Examples include:

    • Bradley C, Brasel K. Fast Facts and Concepts #194. Disclosing Medical Error. December 2007. End-of-Life/Palliative Education Resource Center (

    • Bradley C, Brasel K. Disclosing Medical Error. Fast Facts and Concepts. December 2007; 194. Available at: