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Introduction to palliative care 

Introduction to palliative care
Introduction to palliative care

Susan Salt

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date: 25 February 2021

Palliative care shifts the focus of care from managing the underlying pathophysiological processes to one that looks at the individual and the impact of life-threatening illness on them and those important to them. It aims to prevent and relieve suffering by means of early identification, assessment, and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial, and spiritual. It focuses on interventions which might improve an individual’s quality of life rather than alter the underlying disease process, and routinely extends support to those important to the individual both during that individual’s lifetime and into bereavement. Challenges to the provision of effective palliative care include prognostic uncertainty, the necessity for engaging in difficult conversations, and the need to deal with a variety of ethical issues.

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