Study Shows Benefits Of Early Palliative Care In Cancer Patients


New findings show that for patients with advanced cancer, early palliative care can greatly reduce their time in the ICU.

The research was published in the latest issue of The Oncologist. Scientists retrospectively analyzed data from 470 patients with advanced cancer, 275 of whom were receiving palliative care and the other 195 receiving standard care. The outpatient palliative care services offered included weekly interdisciplinary meetings to discuss their status, early end-of-life care planning and a patient-reported outcomes evaluation.

Their results showed that the patients who didn’t receive palliative care were three times more likely to enter the ICU or a hospital during the last six months of their life than those who did. They were also more than four times likely to have terminal ICU admission.

In addition, those who didn’t receive palliative care were four times more likely to die in the hospital and 5.5 times more likely to die in the ICU. Compared to those who participated in the early palliative care program, they were also 90% less likely to enroll in hospice.