Palliative care is a kind of medical care for people who have serious and chronic illnesses. Palliative care provides an extra layer of support that can improve quality of life for the person who is sick and for his or her family.
Many people combine palliative care with other types of treatment.
Palliative care can help manage symptoms, pain, or side effects from treatment. It can help people cope with their feelings about living with a serious illness. It can also help with communication, so all the health professionals providing care for a person understand their shared goals. It may even help with planning for future medical care.
Palliative care can help a person of any age, whether or not his or her illness is terminal. More and more health professionals are using palliative care, and many are specially trained to provide it.
Primary Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerShelly R. Garone, MD, FACP - Palliative Medicine
Current as ofFebruary 20, 2015
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise