Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

2013 Edition
| Editors: Marc D. Gellman, J. Rick Turner

Palliative Care

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_419



The World Health Organization (WHO) defines palliative care as “an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problems associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychological and spiritual” (World Health Organization, 2002).


The goal of palliative care is to achieve the best possible quality of life for both the patients and their families.

Palliative care:
  • Is a multidisciplinary task and uses a team approach by physicians, nurses, psychologists, social workers, and other health professionals to address the needs of patients and their families

  • Offers a support system to help patients and their families in the community

  • Is applicable at any age and at any stage in the course of illness, in...

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References and Readings

  1. Temel, J. S., Greer, J. A., Muzikansky, A., Gallagher, E. R., Admane, S., Jackson, V. A., et al. (2010). Early palliative care for patients with metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer. New England Journal of Medicine, 363(8), 733–742. Retrieved August 19, 2010, from www.nejm.org
  2. World Health Organization. (2002). WHO definition of palliative care. Retrieved September 28, 2009, from http://www.who.int/cancer/palliative/definition/en/
  3. Yamamoto, T. (2005). Hagakure: The book of the samurai (W. S. Wilson, Trans.). Tokyo: Kodansha International.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department Of Palliative MedicineThe University of Tokyo HospitalBunkyo-ku, TokyoJapan