Prognosis Guidelines

Ginger Robbin St Amand

Hospice is for patients who have been diagnosed as being in the last six months of life, but some patients stay on for years if their disease process is slow.

In a 2010 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer patients receiving early palliative care lived 2.78 months longer than those who delayed palliative treatment. The authors concluded that: “Early palliative care led to significant improvements in both quality of life and mood… (the patients) had less aggressive care at the end-of-life but longer survival.”

  • It is important that a conversation is had before the patient begins to decline or is admitted repeatedly to the hospital
  • Patients are more comfortable having these conversations with their own physician rather than hospital staff
  • Don’t be afraid to call upon Hospice of Kona to assist with the conversation: - Determine eligibility - Explain hospice services - Offer counseling and support to both patients and family