How Effective Is Palliative Care in Improving Patient Outcomes?

Sarah Milazzo, Eric Hansen, Desi Carozza, Amy A. Case

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


As palliative care (PC) continues its rapid growth, an emerging body of evidence is demonstrating that its approach of interdisciplinary supportive care benefits many patient populations, including in the oncology setting. As studies and data proliferate, however, questions persist about who, what, why, when, and how PC as well as the ideal time for a PC consult and length of involvement. When comparing outcomes from chemotherapy trials, it is important to consider the dosing regimens used in the various studies. In the same way, it is important to account for the “dose” of the PC interventions utilized across studies, and apples to apples comparisons are needed in order to draw accurate conclusions about PC’s benefits. Studies which include a true interdisciplinary PC intervention consistently show improvements in patient quality of life, as well as cost savings, with further study needed for other outcomes. These benefits cannot be extrapolated to care which may be labeled “palliative care,” but which does not meet the standard of true interdisciplinary PC. The ultimate question is: Does PC indeed improve outcomes?

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number12
JournalCurrent treatment options in oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Cost
  • Outcomes
  • Palliative care
  • Quality of life
  • Satisfaction
  • Supportive
  • Survival
  • Symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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