Areej R. El-Jawahri, MD, assistant in Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School, discusses the impact of palliative care on patients and family caregivers.
Palliative care focuses on multiple domains to improve family and patient care. These include symptom control and how patients and family cope with their illness and better understand it.
Most quality-of-life improvements for patients are related to symptom management and coping techniques, says El-Jawahri. The caregivers also experience benefit by attending palliative care visits and learning tatics to cope with the their loved one's cancer, which can really take a toil on the entire family, she says.