Early palliative care may improve quality of life for patients

Researchers developed a primary palliative care framework to improve care for cystic fibrosis (CF) patients and to reduce the symptom burden. This model aims to integrate palliative care with standard CF therapies to promote a positive effect on the long-term quality of life for these patients.      The results of the study are reported; see The CF-CARES primary palliative care model: A CF-specific structured assessment of symptoms, distress, and coping. This study underlines once more the need to make palliative care an integrated part of health care. This need is confirmed in another recent study for about patients with Parkinson disease and related disorders (PDRD). In a randomized trial (involving nearly 400 PDRD patients and their caregivers), an integrated outpatient palliative care intervention administered by a neurologist, social worker, chaplain, and nurse, with selective involvement of a palliative medicine specialist, led to improved quality of life and global symptom burden, greater completion of advance directives, and lower caregiver burden by 12 months compared with standard care. These data support the feasibility and benefits of integrated palliative care in patients with PDRD. (See: Palliative approach to Parkinson disease and parkinsonian disorders”, section on ‘Initiating palliative care)