Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Guidelines for Treating the "Whole" Person

An insight into why the palliative care speciality has earned its reputation for understanding and treating the “whole” patient is provided by new clinical practice guidelines from the National Consensus Project for Quality Palliative Care.

The guidelines, which identify eight areas of care and describe elements of best practice, focus of these specific areas of care: structure and processes, physical aspects, psychological and psychiatric aspects, social aspects, spiritual/religious/existential aspects, cultural aspects, care of the patient at the end of life, and ethical and legal aspects.

Also noteworthy: The third edition of Clinical Practice Guidelines for Quality Palliative Care, available by download here, emphasizes the need to deliver palliative care from the time of diagnosis, through an interdisciplinary team.

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