Palliative care

Palliative care is a kind of care for people who have illnesses that do not go away and often get worse with time. The goal of palliative care is to improve quality of life—not just in the body, but also in the mind and spirit.

Many people combine palliative care with other types of treatment.

Palliative care can help manage symptoms, pain, or side effects from treatment. It can help people cope with their feelings about living with a chronic illness. It may even help with planning for future health and medical care.

In the past, palliative care was mostly used to treat people receiving hospice care. Today, this kind of care can help anyone who has an illness or disease that cannot be cured. More and more health professionals are using palliative care, and many are specially trained to provide it.

Last Updated: March 4, 2010

Author: Bets Davis, MFA

Medical Review: Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Shelly R. Garone, MD - Palliative Care

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