End-of-life care (Salem Health: Cancer)
Goals: Palliative care is patient- and family-centered care focused on achieving quality of life through the management of pain and other distressing symptoms. It also addresses intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, and existential needs of patients and their families, while facilitating patient autonomy and control over care. Many cancer centers are integrating palliative care with life-prolonging treatments as a part of comprehensive cancer care. Over the course of treatment for a potentially fatal illness such as cancer, goals are constantly evaluated based on the response of the disease. When a disease progresses despite treatment and no further treatment is available or if a person decides that the burden of treatment outweighs the benefit, palliative care becomes the main focus of care. The goals of end-of-life palliative care are set by patients in consultation with their families and health care providers. The treatment plan is based on the goals and is shaped by the patient’s definition of quality of life, treatment preferences concerning the type of care and the care setting, and physical and emotional condition.
Aspects of care: An end-of-life palliative care plan is developed with the health care provider in consultation with family or in some cases a palliative care consultant. Symptom management and patient function are constantly assessed so that appropriate interventions can be...
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For Further Information (Salem Health: Cancer)
Lynn, Joanne, and Joan Harrold. Handbook for Mortals: Guidance for People Facing Serious Illness. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.
Shannon, Joyce Brennfleck, ed. Death and Dying Sourcebook: Basic Consumer Health Information for the Layperson About End-of-Life Care and Related Ethical and Legal Issues. 2d ed. Detroit: Omnigraphics, 2006.
Young, Carolyn, Cyndie Koopsen, and Daniel Farb. End of Life Care Issues Guidebook: A Guide for Healthcare Providers and the Public on the Care of the Dying. Los Angeles: University of Health Care, 2005.
(The entire section is 80 words.)
Other Resources (Salem Health: Cancer)
End of Life/Palliative Education Resource Center. http://www.eperc.mcw.edu
National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. http://www.nhpco.org
Promoting Excellence in End-of-Life Care. http://www.promotingexcellence.org
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