Underutilization of palliative care related to the associated stigmatism: Time to change the service name within the Veterans Affairs healthcare setting
Janice Schwartz, MNA, RN
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Advances in medicine and technology have transformed cancer into a chronic disease state: enabling earlier, treatable, diagnoses and longer lives. However, the focus in medicine remains in quantity of life: failing to address the multitude of stressors influencing quality of life. Quality of life considerations during treatment tend to focus on physical symptoms of disease or side effects of treatment, negating important quality of life interventions offered through Palliative Care. Palliative Care focuses on the psychosocial, emotional and spiritual aspect of living with cancer. Yet, it remains an untapped resource in the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System (VAHCS), often reserved until later or terminal stages of disease. However, Veterans and families begin to experience such stressors at the time of initial diagnosis, which negatively influences healing and overall quality of life. In an era, focusing on improved quality and overall outcomes, one must question the barriers to earlier initiation of services.
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|Review Type||None: Degree-based Submission|
|Research Approach||Qualitative Research|
Quality of Life;
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