Branding problem with palliative care

There is a branding problem with palliative care in that it is associated with end of life, hospice or serious illness. Palliative care is also symptom management – skilled clinical decision making that improves patient quality of life – allowing for greater physical functioning and engagement in meaningful activities. Palliative care when clinically integrated into chronic disease management can prevent disease exacerbation, admission to hospital and reduce the downward spiral of disease progression and debility. This does not require a skilled palliative consultation. It requires traditional healthcare models focused on managing symptoms from an interdisciplinary approach. The World Health Organization, American Academy of Medicine, US Department of Health and Human Services have all acknowledged the importance and value of moving palliative care into the primary care setting. Palliative care in the form of interdisciplinary, symptom management is not being implemented into healthcare because it is only considered for the end of life – this is where the branding needs to change.