Palliative Treatment

Last updated date: 09-Jun-2023

Originally Written in English

Palliative Treatment

Palliative treatment or palliative care refers to specialized healthcare that mainly focuses on giving patients relief. It can be from pain and chronic symptoms caused by various medical conditions. Palliative treatment also applies regardless of the diseases or illness and the stage. 

Palliative treatment specialists aim to enhance the quality of life of the patients as well as their families. Doctors and nurses are also trained to give the best palliative care while treating and managing the underlying disease. They work hand in hand with the patients, including their primary care providers and families. This is to provide more support that complements the current treatment. 


Importance of Palliative Treatment 

Palliative treatment is designed for patients of all ages with chronic or life-threatening health conditions. It’s generally suitable for children and adults with a range of diseases; including; 

  • Blood and bone marrow diseases that require stem cell transplant 
  • Cancer 
  • Chronic liver failure or end-stage liver condition 
  • Cystic fibrosis 
  • Dementia 
  • Heart disease 
  • Lung disease 
  • Parkinson’s disease 
  • Stroke 

In addition, palliative treatment can help improve various symptoms such as; 

  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Anxiousness or nervousness 
  • Mild to chronic pain 
  • Constipation 
  • Depression 
  • Anorexia 
  • Breathing difficulties 
  • Sleeping problems 
  • Fatigue or tiredness 


Palliative Treatment Team 

A team of medical professionals usually carry out and provide comprehensive palliative care to every patient in need. Furthermore, they are dedicated to working together to give both the patient and the family the best quality care. 

Overall, thepalliative care team can include the following; 

  • Palliative care physicians or doctors (family healthcare providers or internists who specialize in palliative treatment)
  • Social workers 
  • Nurses 
  • Chaplain, priest, or pastor 
  • Physical, speech, and occupational therapist 
  • Nursing assistants or home health aides
  • Nurse practitioners 
  • Pharmacists 
  • Nutritionist or dietitian 
  • Caregivers 


Guiding Principles of Palliative Care 

Guiding Principles of Palliative Care 

The five major guiding principles of palliative care include; 

  • Relieving pain and various severe symptoms related to certain health conditions and treatment
  • To help the patients and his or her family understand that death is natural and part of life 
  • To avoid promoting death or trying to prevent it; instead, to take the entire journey with them 
  • Help in both psychological and spiritual care 
  • Provide support to enable the patient to live the best life possible 


Main Stages of Palliative Care 

Basically, there are 5 stages of palliative care. These phases aim to help the patient while deciding on the appropriate time to begin the treatment process. They include; 

Stage 1: This involves creating a suitable plan regarding the patient’s care. The program should be flexible enough to continue providing proper care even as the health condition advances. Usually, the patient, family members, and healthcare providers are involved in creating the plan. 

Stage 2: During this stage, the interdisciplinary team, chaplain, and other health care workers provide spiritual and emotional care for both the patient and the family. 

Stage 3: At this stage, the physicians and nurses join forces to makes sure that the patient maintains independence at all costs. During this phase, it might be essential to install health aides at home and accept help from medical providers. This is regarding the day to day activities you are starting to have a problem or struggling with. 

Stage 4: This involves making arrangements regarding inpatient care at the medical facility or hospice if necessary. In case the patient is not interested in this but still needs assistance from healthcare providers, then live-in care may be organized. This is to ensure that they always receive the comprehensive support and help they require. This is without the need to move them out of their comfort zone. Sometimes, this phase can also apply during end of life treatment and care. 

Stage 5: This stage is normally utilized for one year. It includes bereavement support from the patient’s family members and friends if the patient dies. 


Types of Palliative Treatment 

Palliative care is more effective and helpful if you consider it sooner, even before the treatment process begins. Usually, patients who get palliative care alongside treatment experience a range of health benefits. It includes better and improved quality of life, fewer chronic symptoms, and being more comfortable and satisfied with treatment. 

Palliative treatment is suitable for patients of all ages, for any health condition, and during any stage or degree. Furthermore, palliative treatment can help in various ways, including medication, relaxation methods, nutritional adjustments, and comprehensive spiritual or emotional support. 

In general, the common types of palliative treatment include; 

  • Emotional palliative care 

Patients with chronic health conditions such as cancer often experience emotional feelings, including anxiety, anger, sadness, and stress. However, palliative treatment can help address such concerns. Care providers such as psychologists, counselors, and other professionals can help the patient understand and deal with these emotions. 

  • Social palliative treatment 

Sometimes, patients find it difficult to talk and express what they are feeling or going through with their caregivers or family members. Also, there are some instances where they require support and help when going for treatment. 

In such situations, a social worker can always assist. They also specialize in providing care and comprehensive assistance in various ways, including;

  • Helping the patient plan for a family meeting
  • Suggesting significant ways of managing people who want to give support and help
  • Helping the patient locate medical information
  • Giving rides to and from the medical facility and providing other essential services

Sometimes, a social worker can also offer palliative treatment to the patient’s caregiver and family members. For instance, if a person feels overwhelmed, then the social worker can help them in figuring out the type of assistance they require and ways of finding it.

  • Mental palliative treatment 

Mental palliative treatment 

Usually, treatment, symptoms, and medications of certain chronic conditions can affect how a person’s mind operates. In a situation where the patient can’t get enough sleep, he or she may end up feeling stressed or disturbed. They may also have a hard time when it comes to thinking and acting accordingly.

In such cases, palliative care for mental health can be helpful. It includes counseling, exercises, meditation, and providing a suitable treatment to help with depression, sleeping problems, and anxiousness.

Care providers, including support group leaders, psychologists, and counselors, specialize in providing mental health care. Sometimes, they can suggest doing various activities to help ease stress and anxiousness. These activities include yoga, joining a group of patients, volunteering to do a meaningful job, or creative art.

  • Physical palliative care 

Chronic medical conditions are usually associated with a number of physical side effects. The treatment options for these conditions typically vary depending on various factors. It can be the type of the disease, the stage, ongoing treatment, the overall health state.

Some of the common physical side effects can include:

  • Severe pain
  • Fatigue or tiredness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sleeping disorders
  • Breathing difficulties, including shortness of breath

Palliative treatment for such physical side effects can include medications, anti-nausea drugs, nutritional help, and physical therapy. Also, the care team that specialize in addressing physical side effects are palliative care specialists, pain specialists, sleep specialists, or other professional medical providers.


What to Expect When Seeking Palliative Treatment?

Palliative treatment is an approach to comprehensive care that most patients may want to receive. It can be during any period of a chronic or life-threatening condition. The key purpose of palliative care is to help patients manage various symptoms caused by certain illnesses. It also focuses on addressing different concerns that matter the most. 

Overall, you can opt for palliative treatment if you have some questions regarding the following; 

  • Expectations regarding healthcare plan and how to modify it to what is important and matters the most
  • The crucial programs and resources available to provide enough support throughout the treatment process
  • The available treatment options, including their benefits and risks 
  • Making effective decisions per your overall objectives and values 

Sometimes, the first meeting can transpire in an outpatient medical facility or when the patient is still in the hospital. According to medical research studies, considering palliative care early enough is highly beneficial to both the patient and family. Apart from improving life quality for the patient with chronic disease, it also prolongs life. 

When it comes to consultation, the palliative care team and the patient will discuss the symptoms and ongoing treatments. It can also include how the disease is affecting him or her and the family. After that, they will develop a suitable plan to help prevent and minimize distress and enhance life quality. 



Palliative treatment involves multidisciplinary care that aims at enhancing the patient’s quality of life. It also focuses on improving the overall health and well-being of patients with severe and life-threatening diseases. So in case you or any member of your family is suffering from a chronic health condition, then you can consider palliative care. 

CloudHospital specializes in providing palliative care and treatment to every patient in need. The medical platform comprises a team of professional specialists trained to help children and adults with chronic health issues. They also help develop an effective treatment plan based on the health condition.