Palliative Care & Psychiatry

\r\n Palliative care psychiatry is an emerging subspecialty field at the intersection of Palliative Medicine and Psychiatry. The discipline brings expertise in understanding the psychosocial dimensions of human experience to the care of dying patients and support of their families. The goals of this assessment are to briefly define palliative care and summarize the evidence for its benefits, to describe the roles for psychiatry within palliative care, to review recent advances in the research and practice of palliative care psychiatry, and to delineate some steps ahead as this sub-field continues to develop, in terms of research, education, and systems-based practice. In a recent multi-site randomized controlled trial, Dignity Therapy (relative to client-centered care or standard palliative care) was associated with greater levels of perceived helpfulness, improved quality of life, greater sense of dignity, and a higher degree of helpfulness to the family. Of note, there were no significant differences in global distress levels, the primary outcome. . Quite often, the care of patients who experience serious psychological distress in the situation of a serious illness requires input from clinicians with expertise in psychiatric diagnosis and treatment.

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