The Application of Hospice Palliative Care on Discharge Planning for the Terminal Cancer Patient

Wei Shu Lai, Wan Ping Yang, Ya Lan Shih, Co Shi Chantal Chao

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Whole person, family-centered, continued care, and multidisciplinary approach were four core values of hospice palliative care applied in this paper to assist in the difficult processes of discharging terminal cancer patients from the hospital and providing continued care until their peaceful death. Reasons underlying difficulties with discharges identified during hospitalizations between July 5th to 25th 2007 include: 1. 'whole person' aspects, including lack of confidence with the discharge on the part of the patient and his/her families due to inadequate symptoms control and loneliness due to lack of caregiver understanding and support; 2. 'family-centered' aspects, including failure to designate a key decision maker, differences of opinions, and overwhelming caregiver burdens; 3. 'continuity of care' aspects, including lack of appropriate and continuing palliative care and 4. 'multidisciplinary approach' aspects, including factitious relationships among patient, family members, and healthcare providers due to lack of trust. Furthermore, the healthcare team mapped out individual and continued care plans as follows: 1. 'whole person' aspects should focus on symptom control, enhancing comfort, and encouraging emotional expression; 2. 'family-centered' care aspects should identify the key person and significant others, decrease caregiver burdens, provide essential assistance and conduct family conferences; 3. 'continuity care' aspects should include consulting hospice home care and bereavement care professionals; 4. 'multidisciplinary approach' aspects should address comprehensive care so that team members learn from and reflect on their experiences. Ultimately, patients were successfully discharged from the hospital and peacefully passed away one week afterward. The writer hopes this nursing experience will provide a valuable reference for clinical practice to develop a family-centered approach to palliative care based on the four core values of hospice palliative care and the multidisciplinary discharge plan for terminal cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-100
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nursing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Apr

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Nursing


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