July 27, 2016 – Who Gets It?
Anchor lead: How often are palliative care services used for people with different conditions? Elizabeth Tracey reports
People who have cancer are offered palliative care, a type of medical care designed to help manage symptoms as well as possible, the majority of the time, a recent study shows, but not so for those who are simply frail, or have heart or lung conditions. Rab Razzak, a palliative care expert at Johns Hopkins, saws what’s needed is greater awareness.
Razzak: There’s great data indicating the use of palliative care in cancer patients that shows great benefit both in symptom management, quality of life as well as length of life. We really need to show the impact of palliative care on symptom management versus not having palliative care. Are patients less short of breath when palliative care is involved? Do people have more dignity when palliative care is involved, what’s the quality of life, the amount of spiritual distress people have? I think more of that needs to be studied in different diseases beyond cancer. :30
Razzak says palliative care physicians can help people live better with a host of troubling symptoms across a range of health conditions. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.