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Exploring the Impact of Palliative care with Oncology Patients

Background- Palliative care is supportive, specialized medical care with the aim of improving wellbeing and lessening suffering in individuals with serious illnesses. Palliative care is underutilized, despite cancer patients facing many physical, emotional, and psychosocial symptoms. Globally, only 14% of patients who need palliative care currently receive it. Previous research studies that integrated palliative care into standard oncology care showed an improvement in quality of life, specifically in elderly, cancer patients. Objective- Based on the evidence, this project plans to evaluate the impact of palliative care when used in addition to standard oncology care, on elderly cancer patients’ quality of life. Methods- Proposal of a qualitative study with oncology patients over the age of 65 who are attending two oncology centers and receiving palliative care. This study will occur over a three-month period. The participants will be complete pre and post-survey about the impact of palliative care on their quality of life. Results- Potential outcomes will be presented regarding the type of care (standard oncology or palliative care & standard oncology care) for patients with cancer, and it’s impact on quality of life and patient satisfaction. Implications- The incorporation of the evidence supporting palliative care will provide information that will be impactful to the future of oncological care in elderly patients. If further support is beneficial, providing patients with palliative care along with the standard oncological care will improve patients physical, emotional, and psychological well-being and become the standard of care.