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What is Palliative Care

Palliative care is a specialised, multi-disciplinary, and holistic approach to caring for seriously ill people and providing support to their families.

Some misconceptions have often led to palliative care being introduced late in an illness. However, when introduced at an early stage, palliative care is able to provide comprehensive symptom control, support, and assistance with complex decision-making throughout the course of a patient’s illness.

Ideally, palliative care can and should be integrated earlier in the event of an illness as part of a comprehensive and holistic care plan, alongside treatment of the illness. Palliative care helps to improve the quality of life for patients and may even help extend life. Palliative care is available to help clinicians care for patients and their families at any age or stage of a serious illness, including cancer.


5 Facts About Palliative Care Everyone Should Know

  1. Palliative care is a sub-specialty of medicine that focuses on care for patients with complex and serious illnesses. It involves caring for patients and their families at any stage and over the course of their illness, even while they receive life-prolonging or curative treatments.
  2. Palliative care is appropriate at any stage of a serious illness. The earlier palliative care is incorporated into a care plan, the higher the quality of life may be for the patient.
  3. Palliative care can help to address the emotional impact of serious illness on patients and their families. Its holistic approach to care focuses on family and caregiver support.
  4. Palliative care teams help patients, caregivers, and family members come to grips with complex discussions surrounding a serious illness. This leads to higher patient satisfaction, stronger adherence to medical therapy, and ultimately, better health outcomes.
  5. Palliative care enhances health care value. It helps to reduce associated costs and hospital readmissions. At the same time, palliative care improves quality of life as well as patient and family satisfaction.