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Perm J. 2013 Winter;17(1):53-5. doi: 10.7812/TPP/12-092.

Inpatient palliative care consultation: describing patient satisfaction.

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  • 1InpatSouth Bay Medical Center in Harbor City, CA, USA. pushkar.chand@kp.org



This study identified and measured common patterns of patients' positive care experiences during inpatient palliative consultation, and helped better understand how the journey of discovery experienced by both patients and life-care consult teams can be used to improve the quality of care.


We administered questionnaires to a convenience sample of 25 patients who were referred to inpatient palliative care for a goals-of-treatment consult between April 2010 and May 2012.


The codified responses to questionnaires revealed the perspectives of our patients rather than predicting outcomes. Respondents identified six areas of satisfaction: treatment with dignity and respect by the hospital health care team; after life-care planning consultation, patients felt they were better informed of their illness and medical context; 95% of all patients who responded felt their overall experience was excellent; all respondents felt the life-care planning consultation helped them form a treatment plan; all patients who responded believed their cultural beliefs and values were respected; and all responding patients noted that the inpatient palliative care team adequately addressed pain and symptom control.


We were encouraged by our findings: the feedback from patients and families showed us we were effective, from their perspective, in helping them shape their treatment journey. It also emphasized where we could have been even more effective in improving our communication.

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