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Support Care Cancer. 2000 Jul;8(4):268-77.

A model of palliative care: the palliative medicine program of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. A World Health Organization Demonstrations Project.

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The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, OH 44195, USA.


Patients with advanced diseases, both cancer and noncancer, experience high symptom prevalence and psychosocial distress. Multiple unmet needs in the physical, psychosocial and spiritual domains are common. In the United States, palliative medicine is an emerging discipline that focuses on meeting these needs to achieve optimal quality of life for the patient-family unit. The majority of palliative care programs in the U.S. are consultation based. In contrast, the Palliative Medicine Program of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation offers multidisciplinary, comprehensive care from a primary or a consultative focus. The program has clinical, research, and educational components. Established as a consultation service in 1987, the clinical component now includes inpatient and outpatient consultation services, a dedicated acute care inpatient hospital unit, outpatient palliative medicine and cancer pain clinics, palliative home care, hospice home care and hospice residential care. Over 800 new patient consultations took place in 1997. In this paper, development of the program and its structure are described. Challenges to effective communication in a large program within a tertiary care institution are discussed, and strategies designed to meet these challenges are presented.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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