Palliative care has long been recognized as a valuable option in the treatment armamentarium for many chronic pain conditions, but an article in this month’s issue of Critical Care Nurse points up some of the barriers to palliative care consultations that impede patients and caregivers from discussing the approach with their providers. The article also offers strategies for nurses to engage in the task of integrating palliative care into the treatment regimen, and promulgating the use of palliative care services.
Palliative care differs from hospice care in that it is appropriate early in the course of illness, and patients can be simultaneously treated for their condition, including therapies intended to prolong life. Benefits include psychological, spiritual, goal-setting and decision-making support to patients and caregivers that can facilitate earlier adoption of comfort-focused treatment goals, achieve more continuity of care, and reduce the cost of care without an increase in mortality.
Read about palliative care and older adults, here.
Read about the benefits--to both patients and caregivers--of early palliative care, here.
A news story about the benefits of palliative care and strategies for incorporation into treatment plans may be read here. A link to the journal abstract and full-text PDF is also provided.