Outpatient Palliative Care Effectiveness

Both Patients and Caregivers Can Gain

Sabina Antoniu


Expert Rev Pharmacoeconomics Outcomes Res. 2013;13(5):575-577. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Outpatient palliative care services are increasing in their effectiveness worldwide, because they can better focus on both patients' and caregivers' needs at all stages of the disease requiring this type of interventions. This was demonstrated before by various studies that,however, were performed mostly on patients with malignancies and thatyielded encouraging results about the severity of the symptoms and about the burden of care in the caregivers. In this analysis performed on a mixture of patients with malignant and nonmalignant diseases, Groh et al. demonstrate that the outpatient team intervention was able to reduce the severity of symptoms such as pain or digestive symptoms and were able to minimize the burden of care of the primary caregivers.


Palliative careservices can be delivered in various settings such as hospice, hospital or at home and have among the main aims the increase in quality of life of patients and of caregivers and in minimizing the distress provoked to both by a chronic debilitating nonmalignant disease or by a malignant condition. Sometimes the events requiring palliative care interventions cannot be treated at home, but in many cases, many problems can be solved by domiciliary interventions thatallow the patient to benefit from receiving them in a familiar environment. If it is the case of the last days of life, then such interventions can increase the well-being of the patient and of the caregivers and can allow the former to die peacefully at their preferred location.[1]

Various studies have demonstrated this, most frequently in patients with malignancies, and the data analyzed by Groh et al. tested the same hypothesis on a mixture of patients with nonmalignant and malignant conditions and on their primary caregivers.[2]