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May 26, 2004

The Role of Nurse Practitioners in End-of-Life Care

JAMA. 2004;291(20):2432. doi:10.1001/jama.291.20.2432-a

To the Editor: In their Perspectives on Care at the Close of Life article about the medical needs of caregivers of dying patients, Dr Rabow and colleagues1 did not discuss the role of nurse practitioners (NPs). The 5 areas that Rabow et al discussed—promoting excellent communication with family, encouraging appropriate advance care planning and decision making, supporting home care, demonstrating empathy for family emotions and relationships, and attending to family grief and bereavement—are all facets of care that are routinely provided by NPs. With a focus on education and counseling, NPs are helping partners who can assist in the recognition and management of both medical and social problems.2

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