Article Abstract

Overcoming the challenges associated with symptom management in palliative care

Authors: Helen Senderovich, Shaira Wignarajah


End of life (EOL) care is a topic that many families have difficulty discussing. A number of families are uncomfortable with accepting the fact that death is a part of every human’s reality. Ideas and thoughts of death are interpreted differently across various cultures, and lacking to discuss disease trajectory and what to expect down the road with a physician, brings forward conflict during EOL care. Let us consider the complexities of treating Mr. X who is an 80-year-old male of Italian background with a history of advanced lung cancer with metastasis to the brain. He was recently diagnosed and his health began to rapidly decline at home. Mr. X is used in this case study to explore the challenges in providing care in a palliative care unit (PCU), and the ways in which we can overcome them.