Palliative and Hospice Care

THE MAIN GOAL OF BOTH PALLIATIVE AND HOSPICE CARE IS MAINTAINING PATIENT COMFORT. Palliative care does not specifically treat PF, but is care designed to improve the quality of life for patients with a chronic illness. Accordingly, it is appropriate for any patient who experiences discomfort due to PF.


Using a multidisciplinary approach, palliative care can involve physical, psychosocial, and spiritual factors in the treatment approach. Teams may include physicians, pharmacists, nurses, religious leaders, social workers, psychologists, and other health care professionals. In patients with PF, these teams focus on concrete goals including relief from pain or other distressing symptoms, spiritual care, development of support systems, and encouraging an active lifestyle.


Hospice care is a type of end-of-life care; it is intended to help people who are dying have peace, comfort, and dignity. It is generally reserved for patients who have less than six months to live. Patients in hospice care receive treatments to control pain and other symptoms to maintain comfort. Hospice care also provides support to families. Care may be provided at a hospice center, but can also be done in nursing facilities, hospitals, or at home.

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Updated April 2013
This information has been approved by Gregory P. Cosgrove, MD (September 2012)