Pain and Supportive Care: A Palliative Care
"Palliative care is an interdisciplinary team
approach to improving the quality of life of
patients and families living with a life threatening
disease. It aims to prevent and relieve suffering
through early identification and treatment
of pain and other symptoms. Palliative care
addresses the physical, psychological, social
and spiritual needs of patients and their families." (Geneva:
World Health Organization, 2002)
Palliative care is an approach to patient care
that can be integrated with disease directed
therapies at any point from diagnosis of cancer
to end of life. Palliative care provides medical
and non-medical interventions to relieve symptoms
and help the patient and family maintain the
best possible quality of life. It focuses on
the patient, not the disease. The family unit
is considered a focus of care, recognizing that
the illness impacts the family as well as the
patient. Education and support of family caregivers
are essential elements of this program.
Palliative Care at the Joan Karnell Cancer
This innovative, outpatient-based program, under
the direction of Clara Granda Cameron, CRNP,
MSN, and David
Mintzer, MD, is introduced to patients and
families when a person is diagnosed with cancer.
The Palliative Care Team consists of a medical
director, cancer center administrators and a
palliative care nurse practitioner. The team
members are experts in pain and symptom management.
Patients can be enrolled in the program at any
time, depending upon their symptoms and needs.
The program consists of a multidisciplinary assessment,
followed by appropriate treatment, referrals
The goals of the Pain and Supportive Care Program are to:
- Optimize function by providing pain control and symptom management.
- Enhance quality of life for patient and family by meeting physical, psychosocial, spiritual and practical needs.
- Provide help with decision making by providing information regarding medical condition and treatment options.
- Provide opportunities for personal growth.