Directions in Palliative Care Nursing Research: Impeccable Care, Timing, and Complexity
Computing, Health and Science
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Postgrad Medicine, WA Centre for Cancer and Palliative Care
Notable advances have been made in the past three decades in palliative care nursing. The features that distinguish palliative care — attention to the whole person and to all aspects of a patient’s suffering as well as a multidisciplinary approach to care — have resulted in marked improvements in the standard of care for those with advanced and incurable cancer (Woodruff, 2004). Palliative care research has resulted in better knowledge of symptom assessment and treatment, improved psychosocial care, and a more refined approach to managing family care needs. The need for palliative care is enormous and will continue to increase, placing tremendous pressures on existing services. Until recently, palliative care tended to concentrate on the needs of cancer patients and their families, focusing on the terminal stages of a person’s life. However, the field is being challenged to provide high-quality care to a wider range of patients, receiving care in a variety of settings, with more complex symptoms and co-morbidities, at earlier stages of their illness
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