Introducing palliative care earlier may improve quality of life, patient satisfaction

This week The Advisory Board is highlighting new research that explored the effect of introducing palliative care earlier—as opposed to the last few weeks of life, as often happens.

The study, published in The Lancet, included 461 patients who had prognoses of 6 to 24 months. The participants were randomly divided into two groups: one received standard care and the other received palliative care in addition to treatment as usual.

The supplementary care included an initial consultation and assessment of symptoms, psychological distress, social support and home services; monthly consults; and regular follow-up by phone.

After four months, the researchers found that the palliative care group indicated improvements in quality of life, satisfaction with treatment, symptom management and medical interactions.

Scores declined in these categories for those in the standard care group.

Did you know that Polaris Oncology’s assessment includes a Quality of Life module that asks patients if they are interested in learning more about palliative care? If they indicate an interest, an alert is sent to the multi-disciplinary care team and a referral is made. Learn more about the Polaris Oncology Distress Management System.