Integrating Supportive and Palliative Care in the Trajectory of Cancer: Establishing Goals and Models of Care

We propose a theoretical framework that uses the analogy of a car to facilitate discussions around setting goals of care and early access to supportive/palliative care.24,25

Eduardo Bruera

2010

Scholarcy highlights

  • Palliative care is “…an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families, facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual.” During the last few decades, palliative care has acquired expertise in symptom management, psychosocial care, communication, complex decision making, and transition of care
  • Palliative care referrals remain delayed as patients continue to focus on cancer treatments
  • We propose that the two seemingly opposing goals of care—receipt of cancer therapies and symptom management—can be addressed concurrently under an integrated-care model
  • To ensure high quality and early access to supportive/palliative care services, oncologists need to be comfortable with the core competencies related to symptom management, psychosocial interventions, communication, and transition of care
  • Through better integration and education, oncologists and supportive/palliative care specialists can work together to minimize the burden of progressive cancer for patients like Tom

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