Palliative care is a management approach that provides symptom relief and comfort care to patients with serious or life-threatening illnesses, with the goal of improving quality of life for both patients and their families. Unlike hospice care, which is typically restricted to individuals with a prognosis of survival of six months or less, palliative care can begin at diagnosis and is often provided along with treatment aimed at prolonging life, such as chemotherapy or radiation for cancer. One of the primary objectives of palliative care is to help patients prioritize their goals of care, and may include conversations around advance care planning (e.g., a “living will”) depending the anticipated disease trajectory.
The New England CEPAC unanimously voted that the current evidence is adequate to show that patients receiving specialist palliative care services experience better outcomes in terms of quality of life and reduction of hospital or emergency department use as compared to patients receiving usual care.
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Below you will find the final documents from the assessment review process:
“Being diagnosed with a serious illness can be a frightening experience for many patients. Our report and meeting highlight the compelling evidence for patients, providers and policymakers showing that palliative care services in the outpatient setting delivered alongside curative treatments improve patient quality of life.”