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Patients & Families


Hear Dannell Shu, whose son was born with severe brain damage, discuss the role that pediatric Palliative Care played not just in improving Levi’s quality of life, but in supporting the entire family as it navigated the waters of his chronic condition.

“What palliative care gives to me is the ability to feel well and fully live my life in the face of serious illness,” says Amy, a nurse who faced Stage 4 inflammatory breast cancer in 2010. Hear Amy tell her story.

“Patients who receive palliative care may actually live longer.” – Sarah D’Ambruoso, a nurse practitioner and Palliative Care professional at UCLA Medical Center. She cites a study in which patients diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer (the most advanced type) received palliative care from the time of their diagnosis. Read full article here.

The results of recent research conducted at the University of Alabama-Birmingham School of Nursing show that early initiation of palliative care for patients with advanced cancer may not only improve their survival, but also reduce the depression and stress burden of family caregivers.

A study released by Duke University Hospital in 2014 showed that cancer patients who receive palliative care earlier are readmitted to the hospital less than those who do not take advantage of this medical specialty.

“Findings emphasize the value of implementing palliative medicine soon after a cancer diagnosis rather than waiting until later in the disease’s progression. The new approach allows patients earlier opportunities to discuss their care goals and quality of life, which is becoming a central issue among health policy leaders.” – Duke University Medical Center (see article, “Palliative Care Quote Book: Moving Palliative Care Upstream”)

According to the National Institute of Nursing Research, Palliative Care is successful in improving the following areas:

  • Pain and other distressing symptoms, such as nausea or shortness of breath.
  • Communication with their healthcare providers and family members.
  • Emotional support
  • Ensures that care is more in line with patients’ wishes

Research from Massachusetts General Hospital shows that patients receiving palliative care report better quality of life than those receiving standard care.