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Commentary on: Ernecoff NC, Wessell KL, Hanson LC, et al. Elements of palliative care in the last 6 months of life: Frequency, predictors, and timing. J Gen Intern Med, 24 Oct 2019, DOI: 10.1007/s11606-019-05349-0
Implications for practice and research
A prompt-based tool such as a treatment escalation plan might support earlier palliative care referral and advanced care planning.
Further research is needed into the implementation of prompt-based tools and their effectiveness in supporting earlier Advanced Care planning and hospice referrals.
There is a growing body of evidence linking early palliative care referral in patients with life-limiting illness and better patient and family outcomes across a number of measures, including symptom control and psychological well-being of patient and relatives, as well as long-term bereavement issues.1 2 However, significant obstacles still remain in achieving early referrals to specialist palliative care within acute settings,1 …
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
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