Emergency medicine physicians' perspectives of providing palliative care in an emergency department

J Palliat Med. 2011 Dec;14(12):1333-8. doi: 10.1089/jpm.2011.0106. Epub 2011 Dec 2.


This study describes emergency physicians' perspectives on the challenges and benefits to providing palliative care in an academic, urban, public hospital in Los Angeles. Participants underwent a semi-structured interview on their training and experiences related to palliative care, perceptions of providing palliative care, and their recommendations for education and training in this area. Overall, respondents felt that palliative care is not prioritized appropriately, leading patients to be unaware of their options for end-of-life care. Providing educational materials and courses that have been developed from the ED perspective should be included in ongoing continuing medical education. Having a palliative care team that is responsive to the needs of the ED will further enhance collaboration with the ED. Future research should focus on understanding the range of benefits to having palliative care in the ED.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Attitude to Death*
  • Communication
  • Emergency Medicine / education
  • Emergency Medicine / standards*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / organization & administration
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / standards*
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Public
  • Hospitals, Urban
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Los Angeles
  • Male
  • Palliative Care / psychology*
  • Patient Care Team
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Professional-Family Relations
  • Qualitative Research