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July 5, 2016

Why Population Health and Palliative Care Need Each Other

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia
  • 2Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence, Division of Gerontology and Geriatrics, University of Washington, Seattle
JAMA. 2016;316(1):27-28. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.5961

Two evolving disciplines in medicine have brought new ways of thinking about health and disease. One is palliative care, which focuses on improving the quality of life of patients with serious illnesses and their families. A second is population health, which focuses on improving the health of populations, with a special emphasis on reducing disparities in health outcomes and improving the value of health care. Although palliative care and population health are related, there has been limited discussion about how these 2 disciplines can support and complement each other. This synergy is key to improving the quality of care of frail older persons with chronic, life-limiting illnesses. In this Viewpoint, we describe the potential synergies between these 2 disciplines and propose next steps to foster collaboration.

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