Palliative Care and Shared Decision Making
Palliative care can help to relieve discomfort and stress for people with serious illnesses. It can be given along with treatments that try to cure the illness.
Shared decision making is a conversation with your doctor about treatment choices. Usually, treatment decisions are made when your doctor recommends a treatment and tells you about the possible pros and cons. But there’s often more than one way to treat an illness. In shared decision making, you and your doctor discuss various treatment options. A decision aid can show you the pros and cons of those different treatments, as well as their possible results.
Taking part in shared decision making can help you to make important palliative care decisions. It can bring to light the personal goals and values of you or your loved one. In addition to personal goals and values, the cost of treatment can be an important part of making choices about palliative care.
FAIR Health has created three decision aids for shared decision making during palliative care. The decision aids are free and include cost-of-care information. They can be used by patients or their families to help make choices about staying on:
- Kidney dialysis for kidney failure;
- A feeding tube and other feeding options for nutritional assistance; or
- Mechanical ventilation.
You can access the decision aids here.
If you or a loved one has a serious illness, palliative care can help relieve discomfort and stress. Shared decision making is a conversation with your doctor about your treatment choices.