Palliative care and end-of-life issues

Danielle J. Doberman, Elizabeth L. Cobbs

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


From the time of a new diagnosis, healthcare for older adults with serious illness or nearing the end of life emphasizes relief of suffering along with attempts at curative or disease-modifying treatments. Goals of care typically evolve as an illness progresses, from primarily curative to primarily palliative as the end of life approaches. End-of-life issues are intertwined with issues of grief and loss. Clinicians should elicit these concerns and employ empathy in an effort to support patients and families and relieve their distress. Clarification of healthcare goals helps the provider determine which treatments to offer and helps the patient and family decide which treatments to pursue. Palliative care is provided by interdisciplinary teams that offer an extra layer of support to patients and families, and is appropriate at any stage of illness. Medication choices for symptom relief should reflect geriatric prescribing principles such as “Start Low and Go Slow.".

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGeriatrics for Specialists
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9783319318318
ISBN (Print)9783319318295
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Communication
  • End of life
  • Palliative care
  • Patient-centered care
  • Prognosis
  • Symptom management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Nursing(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Palliative care and end-of-life issues'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this