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Invited Commentary
August 2016

Family Assessment of Quality of Care in the Last Month of Life

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine at the Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora
  • 2Division of Geriatrics, Department of Internal Medicine, Eastern Colorado Health Care System, Department of Veterans Affairs, Denver
  • 3Birmingham/Atlanta Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center, Birmingham VA Medical Center, Birmingham, Alabama
JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(8):1102-1104. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.1208

There is often a fog that descends on patients, families, and health care professionals when they are navigating the difficult situation at the end of life. There is a lack of clarity regarding the trajectory of the illness, the true burdens and benefits of the myriad interventions, and how best to integrate palliative care into the overall care plan. In some illnesses, such as progressive cancer and dementia, there may be more clarity than in other conditions, such as advanced organ failure; this clarity can make overall decision making easier.

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