Patient Education Pivotal When Recommending Palliative Care

The American Psychological Association says that patients with cancer who are educated about the benefits of palliative care are more likely to consider incorporating it into their treatment. These findings come from a recent study led by Michael Hoerger, PhD, MSCR, an assistant professor of psychiatry, psychology, and oncology at Tulane University.

In the study, Doctor Hoerger and colleagues enrolled 598 patients with cancer in Project EMPOWER. Researchers provided half of the patients with informational demonstrating the beneficial effects of palliative care on survival, mood, and quality of life. The other half received no intervention. Hoerger and colleagues evaluated the effect of the educational intervention on patients’ preferences for palliative care and the likelihood that they’d accept referrals.

An analysis showed the majority (75%) of study participants assigned the intervention demonstrated an increased preference for palliative care. Those patients also reported being less scared about palliative care. To read more as well as a Q & A with Doctor Hoerger on Healio.com, click here.

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