The Integration of Early Palliative Care With Oncology Care: The Time Has Come for a New Tradition

The past decade has brought forth innovative research that questions the traditional oncology care model for patients with advanced cancer. Through integrating palliative care (PC) early into the disease course for patients with a poor-prognosis cancer, 3 seminal studies showed improvements in outcomes, ranging from quality of life, mood, patient satisfaction, prognostic understanding, health service use, and possibly survival. The results of these paradigm-changing studies generate questions about the mechanisms through which early PC improves patient outcomes and about how best to disseminate early PC models. This article reviews the 3 studies, examines challenges to conducting PC research, and considers future directions in the field.

Target Audience

This activity has been designated to meet the educational needs of physicians and nurses involved in the management of patients with cancer.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this activity, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the mechanisms through which early palliative care improves patient outcomes
  • List the most common barriers to the integration of palliative care into cancer care
  • Discuss the future directions of early palliative care models in oncology care
Additional information
Supporters: 

No commercial support was received for this article.

Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 Participation
  • 1.00 Nurse
  • 1.00 Physician
Course opens: 
12/12/2014
Course expires: 
12/12/2015
Cost:
$0.00

Jessica R. Bauman, MD
Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center
Boston, Massachusetts

Jennifer S. Temel, MD
Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center
Boston, Massachusetts

Available Credit

  • 1.00 Participation
  • 1.00 Nurse
  • 1.00 Physician

Accreditation Period

Course opens: 
12/12/2014
Course expires: 
12/12/2015

Price

Cost:
$0.00
Please login or register to take this course.

Required Hardware/software

To access this activity, users will need:

  • A device with an Internet connection
  • Adobe Reader or other PDF reader software for article and certificate viewing/printing