Pop quiz on palliative care and when it’s needed

Learn more about when and why a patient might benefit from palliative care

GOING THROUGH a serious illness can be difficult, but palliative care is one option that many patients and caregivers find to be a godsend during such a time. While many are not familiar with the term “palliative care,” it’s the kind of care that is provided by hospice services, though palliative care is not exactly the same thing as hospice services.

Essentially, palliative care is an umbrella team for any kind of medical care administered by the palliative care team aimed at relieving the pain, discomfort, or stress of a serious illness and improving the patient’s quality of life.

There are many important aspects concerning palliative care and when it’s needed, so take our quiz to test and increase your knowledge.

1. Palliative care can be administered for which of the following serious illnesses?

A. Treatable or manageable illnesses like cancer and AIDS
B. Chronic issues like cardiac and respiratory diseases
C. Degenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s and kidney failure
D. Long-term diseases like ALS or MS
E. All of the Above

2. Which of the following are examples of complaints or problems that palliative care will address?

A. Physical pain
B. Breathing problems
C. Depression, insomnia, and/or fatigue
D. Issues with your bowels, bladder, and/or nausea
E. All of the Above

3. Fill-In-The-Blank: Palliative care addresses the _____________, and can focus on any physical, social, psychological, emotional, or spiritual needs the patient may have.

A. Disease or illness
B. Doctor’s treatment plan
C. Whole person
D. None of the Above

4. Which of the following are examples of palliative care that might be administered to a patient?

A. Medications
B. Complementary treatments like massage therapy
C. Teaching relaxation techniques
D. All of the Above

5. True or False? The main difference between palliative care and hospice services is that palliative care can be given at any time during a serious illness and in conjunction with treatments that are meant to heal or cure the patient, while hospice services are given during the last stages of an illness after curative treatments have ceased.

6. Which is NOT a benefit of palliative care?

A. An improved quality of life through relief of pain and discomfort
B. Advancements in testing and equipment
C. Improved ability to undergo medical treatments
D. A better understanding of available treatments and choices
E. Help and support for the patient’s caregivers

7. Which of the following is a common MYTH concerning palliative care? (Choose all that apply.)

A. You have to give up your doctor
B. You can’t get palliative care at home
C. Palliative care means you won’t recover from your serious illness
D. Insurance won’t cover palliative care
E. Receiving palliative care starts by having a talk with your doctor or nurse.

Resources: Information provided by GetPalliativeCare.org and CaregiversLibrary.org


1. E. All of the Above. Palliative care can be administered to ease the pain, discomfort, and stress of any serious illness, at any time during the illness.

2. E. All of the Above. Palliative care can address a wide array of pains, complaints, and issues to help those with serious illnesses have a better quality of life.

3. C. Whole Person. Palliative care addresses physical complaints and more, treating the issues of the whole person.

4. D. All of the Above. Any treatment, medication or care that alleviates or improves the side effects of a serious illness or medical treatments is considered an option in palliative care.

5. True. Palliative care can be given at the beginning, middle, or end of an illness, and it can be given in conjunction with treatments meant to cure the patient.

6. B. Advancements in testing and equipment. Palliative care focuses on alleviating the pain and discomfort a patient experiences due to a serious illness, not the actual treatments or cures themselves. There are, however, important benefits for the patient and the patient’s caregivers.

7. A, B, C, and D. It is true that receiving palliative care begins by having a conversation with your doctor or nurse. You can keep your doctor, who will still oversee your treatment and will collaborate with the palliative care team; Home palliative care can be an option; Palliative care is given along with the treatments the patient and the patient’s doctors have agreed upon; Health insurance usually covers all or part of palliative care services.


article by ERIKA ALDRICH

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