Supporting self-management in palliative care throughout the cancer care trajectory

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Purpose of reviewDespite increased survivorship and the subsequent need for chronic management of cancer, the association of self-management and palliative care is still emerging within cancer care. Routine and timely use of self-management strategies in the palliative setting can help reduce self-management burden and maximize quality of life. In this review, we consider the complementary relationship of self-management and palliative care and how they support living with cancer as a chronic illness.Recent findingsRecent studies provide evidence of support among patients, family caregivers and healthcare professionals for integration of self-management interventions into palliative cancer care. As a guiding framework, components of the revised Self and Family Management Framework correspond to the provision of palliative care across the care trajectory, including the phases of curative care, palliative care, end-of-life care and bereavement. Additional work among self-management partners facing cancer and other life-limiting illnesses, that is patients, family caregivers and healthcare professionals, would be useful in developing interventions that incorporate self-management and palliative care to improve health outcomes.SummaryThere is an increasing acceptance of the complementarity of self-management and palliative care in cancer care. Their integration can support patients with cancer and their family caregivers across the care trajectory.

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