Best Practices in Palliative Care Supported by Growing Evidence Base, Study Finds

A study commissioned to help guide revisions of best practices in providing palliative care finds that there is a wide and varied body of evidence to support such clinical practice guidelines.

The systematic review by researchers from the RAND Corporation found that the research base for palliative care was larger than generally appreciated, although there was limited evidence across some areas of clinical practice such as how to care for patients during the last days of their lives.

Published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, the study was conducted to support the fourth edition of the National Consensus Project’s Clinical Practices Guidelines for Quality Palliative Care, which establishes best practices in end-of-life care. While previous guidelines have been developed through consensus among experts, the systematic review was incorporated into the just-released fourth edition of the guidelines.

“Our review will help guide best practices going forward and help focus future research efforts to build a high-quality evidence base for end-of-life care,” said Sangeeta Ahluwalia, the study’s lead author and a senior policy researcher at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. “While the palliative care evidence base has been rapidly growing, we now better understand where there are gaps.” Click here to read more.

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