COVID-19, Suffering and Palliative Care: A Review

Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2022 Aug;39(8):986-995. doi: 10.1177/10499091211046233. Epub 2021 Sep 16.


According to the WHO guideline, palliative care is an integral component of COVID-19 management. The relief of physical symptoms and the provision of psychosocial support should be practiced by all healthcare workers caring for COVID-19 patients. In this review, we aim to provide a simple outline on COVID-19, suffering in COVID-19, and the role of palliative care in COVID-19. We also introduce 3 principles of palliative care that can serve as a guide for all healthcare workers caring for COVID-19 patients, which are (1) good symptom control, (2) open and sensitive communication, and (3) caring for the whole team. The pandemic has brought immense suffering, fear and death to people everywhere. The knowledge, skills and experiences from palliative care could be used to relieve the suffering of COVID-19 patients.

Keywords: COVID-19; communication; palliative care; suffering; symptom control; team care.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Health Personnel / psychology
  • Hospice and Palliative Care Nursing*
  • Humans
  • Palliative Care / psychology
  • Pandemics