Palliative Care in Home Health: A Review of the Literature

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Palliative care is a care delivery model in the management of patients with serious illness or advanced disease. Many patients with chronic disease progress through this phase of the disease process during the life cycle. Palliative care can be provided alongside curative care or can be only comfort care as in the hospice setting. Palliative care is an integral part of the treatment plan for the patient to optimize clinical outcomes, support improved quality of life, and maximize the use of healthcare resources. A review of literature will provide evidence-based options for home healthcare agencies to implement palliative care into the home healthcare episode of care.
Palliative care focuses on providing individuals with relief from the symptoms, pain, and stress associated with serious or advanced illness (Center to Advance Palliative Care, 2011). Home healthcare agencies care for many patients with advanced disease or with unpleasant symptoms who need relief. However, home healthcare clinicians often do not think about the use of palliative care during a home healthcare episode of care. The purpose of this article is to review the literature for evidence-based benefits of integrating palliative care into the home healthcare episode of care for patients in advanced disease states.
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