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Evaluating Palliative Care - A Review of the Literature

Author(s): Hubert R. Jocham RN | Theo Dassen | Guy Widdershoven | Ruud Halfens

Journal: Palliative Care : Research and Treatment
ISSN 1178-2242

Volume: 3;
Start page: 5;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: outcome assessment | advanced cancer patients | palliative care | quality of life

The purpose of this article was to investigate the outcome measures developed and used in palliative care. The paper involved a literature review of published research. Many of the reviewed papers concluded similarly that there was lack of good quality evidence on which to base conclusions. More high quality evidence is needed to compare the relative merits of the differences in models of palliative care services, so that we can learn from other appropriate systems of care at end of life. It follows that quality of life is the main outcome of palliative care, in which the patient instead of the disease represents the target of the clinical approach. Patients struggling with serious illness have other concerns, including managing pain and other symptoms, coordinating care among multiple providers and settings, ensuring that treatments reflect preferences and balance benefits and harms as well as clinical appropriateness, achieving empathic communication and care, fostering well-being, maintaining function and practically supporting family and caregivers through illness and bereavement.
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