Home-Based Palliative Care Stories
USC Leonard Davis conducted home-based palliative care stories, funded in part by Heart to Heart Hospice Foundation.
Over the past decade, palliative care services have rapidly expanded and are now provided within most large medical centers, with additional programs developing in outpatient clinics, cancer clinics, home-based programs, and now community-based programs. The rapid growth of palliative care programs is due, largely, to the enormous benefits from palliative care experienced by patients and their family members along with lowered costs of medical care for insurers and health care providers.
Broadly defined, palliative care is specialized medical care for seriously ill patients that focuses on pain and symptom relief as well as psychosocial and spiritual support, with the goal of improving quality of life for patients and their family members. Yet, despite these overwhelmingly positive outcomes, there are significant barriers to palliative care services. One primary barrier is the lack of consumer knowledge of palliative care.
The intention of this project was the first step in bridging this gap in consumer knowledge of palliative care. Dr. Susan Enguidanos, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor, Leonard Davis School of Gerontology and her talented team, used a theoretical and evidence-based, consumer-driven approach to develop and disseminate media materials to increase awareness and knowledge of palliative care services.
Research in the effectiveness of the videos revealed that, after viewing videos, older adults demonstrated significantly improved knowledge of palliative care and greater intentions of enrolling themselves or a loved on in palliative care should they develop a serious illness.