Palliative care is an essential part of medicine that is often relegated to the end of a patient’s life. Palliative care is defined by the World Health Organization as “an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families … by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual.” Palliative care teams provide holistic care of patients with chronic morbid conditions; however, most referrals to palliative care teams occur in the last 2 months of life, if at all.

Early palliative care intervention is recommended for all disease processes that carry a high symptom burden, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, human immunodeficiency syndrome, and advanced cancers, even when care is optimized. Early introduction of palliative care improves symptom burden and quality of life and...

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