For patients hospitalized with life-threatening illnesses and their families, palliative care consultants can provide critical support by providing information about prognosis, ensuring that symptoms are managed, helping to clarify goals of care, and addressing psychosocial and spiritual concerns. However, once patients leave the hospital, many hospital-based palliative care teams (PCTs) cannot continue to play active roles in patient care. Gaps in discharge planning not only decrease quality of life for patients, but also translate into lack of support for caregivers. The palliative care population would be expected to benefit from a customized approach to hospital discharge. The aim of this study was to identify the range of health care experiences of family caregivers and patients who received palliative care consultations after they left the hospital, and to understand how PCTs might best prepare patients and caregivers for the post-hospital experience.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine