Pace nursing student speaking with a patient

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is the healthcare subspecialty that focuses on managing the symptom burden of those with serious illness, regardless of diagnosis or prognosis. Palliative care is also a philosophy of care whose goal is to help those with serious illness and their caregivers achieve the best possible quality of life.

Palliative care teams provide an extra layer of support, collaborating with primary care providers and other specialists such as oncologists, cardiologists, and pulmonologists as well as other disciplines involved with the person’s care such as nursing and therapy.

The following areas are the focus of the interdisciplinary palliative care team:

  • Pain Management
  • Symptom Management
  • Psychosocial Support
  • Spiritual Support
  • Advance Care Planning

Additional Resources

Clinical Practice Guidelines

  • Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement
  • American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine; Center to Advance Palliative Care; Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association; Last Acts Partnership; National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. “National Consensus Project for Quality Palliative Care: Clinical Practice Guidelines for quality palliative care, executive summary,” Journal of Palliative Medicine 7 no. 5 (2011): 611-27.

Helpful Web Sites