Palliative care specialists focus on relieving the symptoms and stress of serious and chronic illness. The goal of palliative care is to improve the quality of life for the both patient and the family.
Patients can receive palliative care at any age and at any stage in a serious illness, and they can receive it alongside curative treatment. Palliative care physicians work with patients and their families to identify and alleviate physical and emotional pain and other symptoms associated with a serious health condition.
In addition to providing expert symptom management, palliative care specialists devote their time to intensive family meetings, ensure coordinated care across health care settings, link patients and family members to support groups and other services and improve access to information so patients can make confident, well-informed decisions about their care.
Palliative care physicians work within an interdisciplinary team that typically includes nurses and social workers.