How does the WHO define palliative care?

Updated: Aug 13, 2018
  • Author: Winston W Tan, MD, FACP; more...
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Answer

The World Health Organization (WHO) describes palliative care as services designed to prevent and relieve suffering for patients and families facing life-threatening illness, through early management of pain and other physical, psychosocial, and spiritual problems. [1] Growing recognition of palliative care as an integral aspect of cancer treatment, with the ability to improve quality of life and prevent unnecessary hospital admissions and the use of health services, especially when instituted early in the course of disease, has prompted the development of a range of guidelines concerning palliative cancer care. [1, 3]


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