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Supportive and palliative care for people living with HIV / AIDS.

Author: 
Schietinger H
Source: 
CommonHealth. 2005 Spring; 36-43.
Abstract: 

As defined by the World Health Organization (WHO):2 Palliative medicine is the study and management of patients with active, progressive, far advanced disease for whom the prognosis is limited and the focus of care is the quality of life. [It is] the active total care of patients whose disease is not responsive to curative treatment. Control of pain, of other symptoms, and of psychological, social, and spiritual problems, is paramount. The goal of palliative care is achievement of the best quality of life for patients and their families. Many aspects of palliative care are applicable earlier in the course of the illness, in conjunction with treatment. Palliative care: Affirms life and regards dying as a normal process; Neither hastens, nor postpones, death; Provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms; Integrates the psychological and spiritual aspects of patient care; Offers a support system to help patients live as actively as possible until death; and Offers a support system to help families cope during a patient's illness and with their own bereavement. In short, palliative care comprehensively addresses the physical, emotional, and spiritual impact a life-threatening illness has on a person, no matter the stage of the illness. It places the sick person and his/her family, however defined, at the center of care and aggressively addresses all of the symptoms and problems experienced by them. Many healthcare providers apply certain elements of the palliative care treatment approach-- such as comprehensive care and aggressive symptom management-- to the care of all of their patients, not only those who are terminally ill, offering the type of care we would all like to receive when we are sick. (excerpt)

Language: 
Year: 
Region / Country: 
Document Number: 
312055
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