Physicians providing end-of-life care should carefully assess their patients for pain, dyspnea, depression, and other symptoms and use effective therapies to treat such symptoms, according to a new guideline on palliative care issued by the American College of Physicians (ACP) in January (Qaseem A et al. Ann Intern Med. 2008;148:141-146).
The guideline was based on a literature review published in the same issue (Lorenz KA et al. Ann Intern Med. 2008;148:147-159) and on the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's 2004 evidence report on end-of-life care (http://www.ahrq.gov/downloads/pub/evidence/pdf/eolcare/eolcare.pdf).
Kuehn BM. Guideline for End-of-Life Care Released. JAMA. 2008;299(8):888. doi:10.1001/jama.299.8.888