Overview of Palliative Care

Introduction Road Sign This module will provide a broad overview of death and dying in United States, the growing need for quality palliative care, current gaps in care, present definitions to introduce palliative care, and also discuss the scope of palliative care.One of the ideas we would like to get across is that palliative care is quickly becoming a standard in American health care.

Dr. Charles von Gunten, a national leader in palliative care and the editor of Journal of Palliative Medicine. He is also director of the San Diego Hospice. He has this to say about palliative medicine:

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Learning Objectives After completing this module you will be able to:

  1. Define hospice and palliative care.
  2. Describe current demographic trends in death and dying in the US.
  3. Describe compression of morbidity theory.
  4. Describe trajectories of common terminal illnesses.
  5. Describe the sources of suffering in terminally ill patients.
  6. Describe clinical care settings in which palliative care occurs.
  7. Describe the evidence base for the efficacy of palliative care for patient outcomes and cost control.


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