publication date: Jun. 2, 2016

Palliative Care

Study: Early Palliative Care Provides Benefits for Family Caregivers of Patients

 

Introducing palliative care shortly after a cancer diagnosis results in better quality of life and fewer depression symptoms for family caregivers, according to a randomized clinical trial.

“This study suggests that early palliative care creates a powerful positive feedback loop in families facing cancer,” said lead study author Areej El-Jawahri, director of Bone Marrow Transplant Survivorship Program at Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center. “While patients receive a direct benefit from early palliative care, their caregivers experience a positive downstream effect, which may make it easier for them to care for their loved ones.”

The NIH-supported study, which included 275 family caregivers for patients newly diagnosed with incurable lung and gastrointestinal cancers, will be presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Patients were assigned to receive early palliative care integrated with standard oncology care, or standard oncology care alone.

Family caregivers were defined as a relative or friend identified by the patient as the primary caregiver. They were evaluated at enrollment, and again at 12 and 24 weeks … Continue reading CCL May – Palliative Care Study: Early Palliative Care Provides Benefits for Family Caregivers of Patients

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