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Dr. El-Jawahri on Early Integrated Palliative Care in Patients With Lung or GI Cancer

Areej R. El-Jawahri, MD
Published: Friday, Jul 29, 2016


Areej R. El-Jawahri, MD, assistant in Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School, discusses a study examining early integrated palliative care for patients with gastrointestinal (GI) or lung cancer and the impact it has on their family caregivers.

Family caregivers play a significant role in caring for patients with advanced cancer; however, they experience a deterioration in their quality of life, El-Jawahri explains. Prior studies show that early integration of palliative care leads to improved quality of life, symptom burden, and quality of end-of-life care for patients. However, it was unknown what impact such care has on family caregiver outcomes.

In this study, patients were randomized to receive the integrated palliative care from time of diagnosis, along with standard care. Results showed that family caregivers of the patients who were randomized to the intervention had improvement in aspects of their quality of life, including vitality, social function, and depression at 12-weeks post-intervention.

Areej R. El-Jawahri, MD, assistant in Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School, discusses a study examining early integrated palliative care for patients with gastrointestinal (GI) or lung cancer and the impact it has on their family caregivers.

Family caregivers play a significant role in caring for patients with advanced cancer; however, they experience a deterioration in their quality of life, El-Jawahri explains. Prior studies show that early integration of palliative care leads to improved quality of life, symptom burden, and quality of end-of-life care for patients. However, it was unknown what impact such care has on family caregiver outcomes.

In this study, patients were randomized to receive the integrated palliative care from time of diagnosis, along with standard care. Results showed that family caregivers of the patients who were randomized to the intervention had improvement in aspects of their quality of life, including vitality, social function, and depression at 12-weeks post-intervention.

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