Palliative Care for Patients With Mental Illness

Betty R. Ferrell, PhD, RN


March 16, 2015

Case Presentation: A Woman With Schizophrenia

Jolene is a 52-year-old woman with a long history of schizophrenia. She lived with her father until his death 2 years ago, and then she became homeless. She has been a frequent patient in the public hospital emergency department where she has been treated for her chronic illnesses, which include emphysema, diabetes, arthritis, drug abuse, and acute crises such as respiratory infections and ulcerated wounds.

Three months ago, Jolene was placed in a mental health residential care facility. She has now been diagnosed with advanced liver failure. She is enjoying living in the residential care facility and has been seen in the outpatient medical clinic, where the psychiatrist is managing her medications. Jolene has no family. The case manager at the residential care facility suggests that Jolene should be seen in the new outpatient palliative care clinic to offer support for her increasing symptoms including nausea, abdominal pain, fatigue, and insomnia.


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.