Symptom Control at the End of Life

Med Clin North Am. 2016 Sep;100(5):1111-22. doi: 10.1016/j.mcna.2016.04.020.


Symptom control at the end of life is an identified ongoing gap in end-of-life care. Increased demand for high-quality symptom control; limited supply of specialty trained clinicians; lack of consistent high-quality evidence-based interventions; and education deficits among clinicians, patients, and families in end-of-life processes contribute to this gap. High-value end-of-life care is centered on high-quality communication about goals of care. This article reviews primary palliative care concepts of communication and symptom control to provide a framework for primary care physicians to use in the care of patients at the end of life.

Keywords: Communication; End of life; Evidence; Primary palliative care; Symptoms.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anorexia / therapy
  • Anxiety / drug therapy
  • Cachexia / therapy
  • Communication
  • Depression / drug therapy
  • Dyspnea / therapy
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Nausea / drug therapy
  • Pain Management*
  • Palliative Care*
  • Patient Care Planning*
  • Spirituality
  • Terminal Care*
  • Vomiting / drug therapy