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Invited Commentary
April 11, 2011

Identifying the Effective Components of Palliative Care: Comment on “The Optimal Delivery of Palliative Care”

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York.

Arch Intern Med. 2011;171(7):655-656. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.62

Palliative care is a new medical specialty that aims to improve quality of care for persons with serious and advanced illness through clear and direct communication between the interdisciplinary health care team, patients, and families; effective management of pain and other symptoms; coordination and continuity of care; and treatment aligned with patient and family goals.1 Palliative care can be offered with life-prolonging therapies and is appropriate at any point in a serious illness. Benefits of palliative care include increased patient and caregiver satisfaction,2 lower costs,3 and improved quality of life and clinical outcomes.4,5 Few studies, however, have compared different palliative care delivery models to assess their effect on outcomes.