CONTEXT: We reviewed the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Bereaved Family Survey's (BFS) open-ended responses to understand end of life care (EOL) best practices for Vietnam and pre-Vietnam Veterans.
OBJECTIVES: To identify: 1) recommendations for improved EOL care enhancements for older Veterans 2) a model of best practices in EOL care for Veterans, and 3) any relevant differences in best practices between Vietnam and prior war eras.
METHODS: We examined five years of BFS data (n=2,784), collected between 2013 and 2017, from bereaved family members of Veterans focusing on 2 open-ended questions: 1) Is there anything else you would like to share about the Veteran's care during his last month of life? 2) Is there anything else you would like to share about how the care could have been improved for the Veteran? Applied thematic analysis identified successes and challenges in the experience of the bereaved of Vietnam and pre-Vietnam era Veterans.
RESULTS: Regardless of war era and death venue, a patient-centered approach to EOL care with readily available staff who: 1) provide ongoing support, comfort, honor, and validation; 2) routinely adjust to the patient's changing needs; 3) and provide clear, honest, timely, compassionate communication, was important to the bereaved. Consideration of the uniqueness of Vietnam Veterans is beneficial.
CONCLUSIONS: Patient-centered EOL care should include assigning a point of contact that follows the patient, educates the family on expectations, ensures the patient's changing needs are met, ensures the family has appropriate support, and communicates updates to family throughout the patient's care continuum.
In the last decade, scientific literature provided solid evidence of cognitive deficits in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients and their effects on end-life choices. However, moral cognition and judgment are still poorly investigated in this population. Here we aimed at evaluating both socio-cognitive and socio-affective components of moral reasoning in a sample of 28 ALS patients. Patients underwent clinical and neuropsychological evaluation including basic cognitive and social cognition measures. Additionally, we administered an experimental task including moral dilemmas, with instrumental and incidental conditions. Patients' performances were compared with a control group [healthy control (HC)], including 36 age-, gender-, and education-matched healthy subjects. Despite that the judgment pattern was comparable in ALS and HC, patients resulted less prone to carry out a moral transgression compared to HC. Additionally, ALS patients displayed higher levels of moral permissibility and lower emotional arousal, with similar levels of engagement in both instrumental and incidental conditions. Our findings expanded the current literature about cognitive deficits in ALS, showing that in judging moral actions, patients may present non-utilitarian choices and emotion flattening. Such a decision-making profile may have relevant implications in applying moral principles in real-life situations and for the judgment of end-of-life treatments and care in clinical settings.
Background: In 2017, the American College of Surgeons' Trauma Quality Improvement Program adopted a Palliative Care Best Practices Guidelines that calls for early palliative care for hospitalized injured patients.
Objective: To develop an educational intervention to address the palliative needs of injured patients.
Design: Palliative faculty presented a three-part monthly lecture series focused on core primary palliative skills, including the components of palliative care; conducting family conferences; communication skills for complex medical decision making; pain management; and, end-of-life planning. Additionally a palliative provider joined trauma team rounds every other week to highlight opportunities for enhanced palliative assessments, identify appropriate consults, and provide just-in-time teaching.
Setting: Urban, level-1 trauma center.
Measurements: Surgical residents completed a survey at the beginning and end of the academic year, during which the intervention took place. All survey questions were answered with a 5-point Likert scale. Rate of palliative care consultation was also tracked.
Results: There were statistically significant perceived improvements in goals-of-care discussions (initial discussion—4.30 vs. 3.52, p = 0.4; follow-up discussion—3.89 vs. 3.05, p = 0.021) and documentation (3.89 vs. 2.9, p = 0.032), incorporation of patient preferences into decision making (4.20 vs. 3.43, p = 0.04), discussion of palliative needs during rounds (4.30 vs. 2.81; p < 0.001) and care transitions (3.90 vs. 3.05, p = 0.008), respect for decisions to forgo life-sustaining treatments (4.40 vs. 3.52, p = 0.004), and identification of advance directives (4.11 vs. 3.05, p = 0.002) and surrogate decision maker (4.44 vs. 3.60, p = 0.015). The overall rate of palliative specialist consultation also increased (8.4% vs. 16.1%, p < 0.001).
Conclusion: Embedding primary palliative education into usual didactic and rounding time for an inpatient trauma team is an effective way to help residents develop palliative skills and foster culture change. Educational partnerships such as this may serve as an example to other trauma programs.
Background: Advance care planning (ACP) can help to enhance the care of patients with limited life expectancy. Despite physicians’ key role in ACP, the ways in which physicians estimate and communicate prognosis can be improved.
Aim: To determine how physicians in different care settings self-assess their performance in estimating and communicating prognosis to patients in palliative care, and how they perceive their communication with other physicians about patients’ poor prognosis.
Design & setting: A survey study was performed among a random sample of GPs, hospital physicians (HPs), and nursing home physicians (NHPs) in the southwest of the Netherlands (n = 2212).
Method: A questionnaire was developed that had three versions for GPs, HPs, and NHPs. Each specialism filled in an appropriate version.
Results: A total of 547 physicians participated: 259 GPs, 205 HPs, and 83 NHPs. In the study, 61.1% of physicians indicated being able to adequately estimate whether a patient will die within 1 year, which was associated with use of the Surprise Question (odds ratio [OR] = 1.65, P = 0.042). In the case of a prognosis of <1 year, 75.0% of physicians indicated that they communicate with patients about preferences regarding treatment and care, which was associated with physicians being trained in palliative care (OR = 2.02, P=0.007). In cases where patients with poor prognosis are discharged after hospital admission, 83.4% of HPs indicated that they inform GPs about these patients’ preferences compared with 29.0% of GPs, and 21.7% of NHPs, who indicated that they are usually adequately informed about the preferences.
Conclusion: The majority of physicians indicated that they believe they can adequately estimate patients’ limited life expectancy and that they discuss patients’ preferences for care. However, more physicians should be trained in communicating about patients’ poor prognosis and care preferences.
OBJECTIVES: To identify sources used by patients with advanced or metastatic gynecologic cancer to learn about palliative care and to evaluate for differences in knowledge about palliative care and palliative care utilization by knowledge source.
METHODS: Gynecologic cancer patients receiving treatment for advanced or metastatic gynecologic cancer at a single academic medical center were surveyed about their awareness of and knowledge about palliative care. Medical chart review was conducted.
RESULTS: Of the 111 women surveyed, 70 had heard of palliative care (63%). Sixty-eight specified from where they learned of palliative care: cancer care (n=28, 41.2%), word of mouth (n=26, 38.2%), work (n=6, 8.8%), self-education (n=4, 5.9%), personal experience (n=2, 2.9%) or don't know (n=2, 2.9%). Knowledge about palliative care (p=0.35) and palliative care utilization (p=0.81) did not differ by awareness of palliative care.
CONCLUSION: Most women receiving treatment for advanced gynecologic cancer have heard of palliative care from sources other than their cancer care providers. Knowledge about palliative care and source of knowledge about palliative care were not associated with palliative care utilization. Awareness of palliative care and palliative care utilization may be improved by increasing the low rate of health provider-based education and engaging cancer patients' social networks.
A valid measure to describe the most important needs and concerns of people with life-threatening illnesses is missing in Cyprus. Our aim was to adapt and test the cross-cultural validity and responsiveness of the Integrated Palliative care Outcome Scale (IPOS) in a cohort of Turkish speaking cancer patients.
Objective: To assess the physiological outcomes and interpersonal influences that should be considered when making the decision to provide artificial nutrition and hydration (AN&H) for patients in hospice/palliative programs.
Methods: A systematic review was conducted using items from the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Protocols 2015 checklist. Distinct search strategies were employed to find primary research articles that addressed: General health outcomes of artificial nutrition and hydration interventions and nutrition therapy interventions (n = 16), nutrition-related symptoms in end-of-life care (n = 8), and the attitudes of patients and providers toward artificial nutrition and hydration (n = 21).
Results: The effect of AN&H on health outcomes, quality-of-life measures and nutrition-related symptoms is limited and may vary by patient setting and diagnosis. In the absence of consistent evidence for specific health outcomes, decisions regarding AN&H should be made in context of the desires and beliefs of a patient, their family, and their medical providers. These beliefs may not be consistent with likely outcomes or may be inconsistent between individuals involved in the decision-making process, and individuals of different cultures or geographic regions may approach AN&H decisions from different perspectives. To help navigate the intersection of nutrition-related health outcomes and patient/provider beliefs, palliative care teams may employ a variety of strategies for approaching the decision-making process, and may benefit from specific involvement of a Registered Dietitian to help contribute to or lead these discussions.
Life-sustaining treatments (LSTs) and end-of-life (EOL) care's goal for prolonging one's life are defined as aggressive EOL care among critically ill patients. They have limited effects and add unnecessary financial burden to advanced cancer patients. A questionnaire survey was conducted to collect information on demographics, disease conditions, preference for LSTs, and goal of EOL care among advanced cancer patients of comprehensive grade-A tertiary hospitals in Wuhan, mainland China. Most patients preferred to accept LSTs when they were in a critical condition, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (89.9%), mechanical ventilation support (85.7%), nasogastric tube feeding (84.1%), blood transfusion (89.8%), general surgery (87.5%), and hemodialysis (85.8%). Most (88%) preferred prolonging life as the goal of EOL care. Logistic regression showed common influencing factors were participants who completed junior high/high school or below and were financially adequate had higher reference for aggressive EOL care. Patients whose physician had accurately disclosed prognosis; however, showed a decrease trend for aggressive EOL care. Most advanced cancer patients preferred to accept aggressive EOL care. Discussions about prognosis disclosure among physicians and patients should be improved. Education about LSTs' limitations and comfort-oriented care's benefits should be promoted among the advanced cancer patients in mainland China.
OBJECTIVES: To report on direct experiences from advanced head and neck cancer patients, family carers and healthcare professionals, and the barriers to integrating specialist palliative care.
METHODS: Using a naturalistic, interpretative approach, within Northwest England, a purposive sample of adult head and neck cancer patients was selected. Their family carers were invited to participate. Healthcare professionals (representing head and neck surgery and specialist nursing; oncology; specialist palliative care; general practice and community nursing) were recruited. All participants underwent face-to-face or telephone interviews. A thematic approach, using a modified version of Colazzi's framework, was used to analyze the data.
RESULTS: Seventeen interviews were conducted (9 patients, 4 joint with family carers and 8 healthcare professionals). Two main barriers were identified by healthcare professionals: "lack of consensus about timing of Specialist Palliative Care engagement" and "high stake decisions with uncertainty about treatment outcome." The main barrier identified by patients and family carers was "lack of preparedness when transitioning from curable to incurable disease." There were 2 overlapping themes from both groups: "uncertainty about meeting psychological needs" and "misconceptions of palliative care."
CONCLUSIONS: Head and neck cancer has a less predictable disease trajectory, where complex decisions are made and treatment outcomes are less certain. Specific focus is needed to define the optimal way to initiate Specialist Palliative Care referrals which may differ from those used for the wider cancer population. Clearer ways to effectively communicate goals of care are required potentially involving collaboration between Specialist Palliative Care and the wider head and neck cancer team.
BACKGROUND: Preserving personal dignity is an important part of palliative care. Generally, autonomy, independency and not being a burden to others are emphasised for preserving dignity. Dignity has not been studied yet from the perspective of the growing group of patients with a migration background living in Western countries.
AIM: To gain insight into (1) what patients - and their relatives - with a Turkish, Moroccan or Surinamese background, living in the Netherlands, in their last phase of life find important aspects of dignity, and (2) how care professionals can preserve and strengthen the dignity of these patients.
DESIGN: Qualitative thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews.
PARTICIPANTS: A total of 23 patients and 21 relatives with a Turkish, Moroccan or Surinamese background were interviewed.
RESULTS: For respondents dignity encompassed surrender to God's or Allah's will and meaningful relationships with others, rather than preserving autonomy. Surrender to God or Allah meant accepting the illness, the situation and performing religious practice. A meaningful relationship meant being assisted or cared for by family members and maintaining a social role. Professionals could preserve dignity by showing respect and attention; guaranteeing physical integrity, hygiene and self-direction; and indirect communication about diagnoses and prognoses.
CONCLUSIONS: Religion and appropriate involvement of family members are important aspects of dignity in the last phase of life, in addition to autonomy and independency. Care professionals need to take these factors into account in order to provide person-centred care.
CONTEXT: As part of its Life Sustaining Treatment (LST) Decisions Initiative (LSTDI) the Veterans Health Administration (VA) in January 2017 began requiring electronic documentation of goals of care and preferences for Veterans with serious illness and at high risk for life-threatening events.
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate whether goals of "to be comfortable" were associated with greater palliative care (PC) use and lesser acute care use.
METHODS: We identified Veterans with VA inpatient or nursing home stays overlapping July 2018--January 2019, with LST templates documented by January 31, 2019, and who died by April 30, 2019 (N = 18,163). From template documentation, we identified a "to be comfortable" goal. Using VA and Medicare data we determined PC use (consultations and hospice) and hospital, intensive care unit (ICU) and emergency department (ED) use 7 and 30 days before death. Multivariate logistic regression examined the associations of interest.
RESULTS: Sixty-four percent of the 18,163 Veterans had comfort-care goals; 80% with comfort-care goals received hospice and 57% PC consultations (versus 57% and 46% [respectively] for decedents without comfort-care goals). In adjusted analyses, comfort care documented on the LST template prior to death was associated with significantly lower odds of hospital, ICU and ED use near the end of life. In the last 30 days of life Veterans with a comfort care goal had 44% lower odds (adjusted odds ratio 0.57; 95% CI: 0.51, 0.63) of being hospitalized.
CONCLUSION: Findings support the VA's commitment to honoring of Veterans' preferences post introduction of its LSTDI.
KEY MESSAGE: This study examines the association between comfort care goals and care near the end of life for Veteran decedents cared for after the Veterans Health Administration's Introduction of its Life-Sustaining Treatment Decisions Initiative. Findings show Veteran decedents with comfort care goals received care that appears concordant with their preferences.
Background: Portable Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) are increasingly utilized to assist patients approaching the end of life in documenting goals of care. We evaluated the association of POLST, resource utilization, and costs to 1 year among injured older adults requiring emergency services.
Methods: This was a retrospective cohort of injured older adults =65 years with continuous Medicare fee-for-service coverage transported by emergency medical services (EMS) in 2011 across 4 counties in Oregon. Data sources included EMS, Medicare claims, vital statistics, and state POLST, inpatient and trauma registries. Outcomes included hospital admission, receipt of aggressive medical interventions, costs, and hospice use. We matched patients on patient characteristics and comorbidities to control for bias.
Results: We included 2116 patients of which 484 (22.9%) had a POLST form prior to 911 contact. Of POLST patients, 136 (28.1%) had orders for full treatment, 194 (40.1%) for limited interventions, and 154 (31.8%) for comfort measures. There were no significant associations for care during the index event. However, in the year after the index event, patients with care limitations had higher adjusted hospice use (limited interventions OR 1.7 [95% CI: 1.2–2.6]; comfort OR, 2.0 [95% CI: 1.3–3.0]) and lower adjusted post-discharge costs (no POLST, $32,399 [95% CI: 30,041–34,756]; limited interventions, $18,729 [95% CI: 12,913–24,545]; and comfort $15,593 [95% CI: 12,091–19,095]). There were no significant associations for all other outcomes.
Conclusions: Care limitations specified in POLST forms among injured older adults transported by EMS are associated with increased use of hospice and decreased costs to 1 year.
OBJECTIVE: The aims of the study were to examine patients' experiences of end-of-life (EOL) discussions and to shed light on patients' perceptions of the transition from curative to palliative care.
METHODS: This study was based on a qualitative methodology; we conducted semi-structured interviews with advanced cancer patients admitted to the palliative care unit (PCU) of the Medical University of Vienna. Interviews were recorded digitally and transcribed verbatim. Data were analyzed based on thematic analysis, using the MAXQDA software.
RESULTS: Twelve interviews were conducted with patients living with terminal cancer who were no longer under curative treatment. The findings revealed three themes: (1) that the medical EOL conversation contributed to the transition process from curative to palliative care, (2) that patients' information preferences were ambivalent and modulated by defense mechanisms, and (3) that the realization and integration of medical EOL conversations into the individual's personal frame of reference is a process that needs effort and information from different sources coming together.
CONCLUSIONS: The results of the present study offer insight into how patients experienced their transition from curative to palliative care and into how EOL discussions are only one element within the disease trajectory. Many patients struggle with their situations. Therefore, more emphasis should be put on repeated offers to have EOL conversations and on early integration of aspects of palliative care into the overall treatment.
Developing solid communication-based partnerships through obtaining illness narratives allows for an understanding of patients' social resources, values, and beliefs and allows an opportunity to provide person-centered care. This study aimed to elicit cocreated illness narratives from persons of color who have serious illness. Twenty patients receiving care for serious illness were interviewed at a large academic medical center. The interviews focused on how illness affected patients' lives and were followed by formation of illness narratives. From the persons living with serious illness, 3 main themes emerged: (1) time, (2) life changes, and (3) family. Participants described how illness did influence their lifestyles and identities but did not define their personhood. Family influence had a lasting effect on participants' values and beliefs, and family presence was viewed as valuable in their current lives. Narratives from persons of color with serious illness can provide an intimate account informing nurses' understanding of patients' illness experiences and may enhance communication between nurses and patients.
Background/Objectives: Advance care planning (ACP) has shown benefit in some, but not all, studies. It is important to understand the utility of ACP. We conducted a scoping review to identify promising interventions and outcomes.
Design : Scoping review.
Measurements: We searched MEDLINE/PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and Web of Science for ACP randomized controlled trials from January 1, 2010, to March 3, 2020. We used standardized Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses methods to chart study characteristics, including a standardized ACP Outcome Framework: Process (e.g., readiness), Action (e.g., communication), Quality of Care (e.g., satisfaction), Health Status (e.g., anxiety), and Healthcare Utilization. Differences between arms of P < .05 were deemed positive.
Results : Of 1,464 articles, 69 met eligibility; 94% were rated high quality. There were variable definitions, age criteria (=18 to =80 years), diseases (e.g., dementia and cancer), and settings (e.g., outpatient and inpatient). Interventions included facilitated discussions (42%), video only (20%), interactive, multimedia (17%), written only (12%), and clinician training (9%). For written only, 75% of primary outcomes were positive, as were 69% for multimedia programs; 67% for facilitated discussions, 59% for video only, and 57% for clinician training. Overall, 72% of Process and 86% of Action outcomes were positive. For Quality of Care, 88% of outcomes were positive for patient-surrogate/clinician congruence, 100% for patients/surrogate/clinician satisfaction with communication, and 75% for surrogate satisfaction with patients' care, but not for goal concordance. For Health Status outcomes, 100% were positive for reducing surrogate/clinician distress, but not for patient quality of life. Healthcare Utilization data were mixed.
Conclusion : ACP is complex, and trial characteristics were heterogeneous. Outcomes for all ACP interventions were predominantly positive, as were Process and Action outcomes. Although some Quality of Care and Health Status outcomes were mixed, increased patient/surrogate satisfaction with communication and care and decreased surrogate/clinician distress were positive. Further research is needed to appropriately tailor interventions and outcomes for local contexts, set appropriate expectations of ACP outcomes, and standardize across studies.
There is limited evidence on the relationships of preference for end-of-life life-sustaining treatments [LSTs] and diagnostic contexts like heart failure [HF] or cancer, and patient attitudes toward and perceived susceptibility to use advance directives [ADs]. Thus, this study aimed to compare attitudes and perceived susceptibility between HF patients and community-dwelling patients with cancer, and examine the associations of these variables with their preference for each LST (cardiopulmonary resuscitation [CPR], ventilation support, hemodialysis, and hospice care). Secondary data were obtained from 36 outpatients with HF (mean age, 65.44 years; male, 69.4%) and 107 cancer patients (mean age, 67.39 years; male, 32.7%). More patients with HF preferred CPR than cancer patients (41.7% and 15.9%, 2 = 8.88, P = 0.003). Attitudes and perceived susceptibility were similar between the two diagnostic cohorts. HF patients and those with more positive attitudes had greater odds of preferring CPR (odds ratio [OR] = 3.02, confidence interval [CI] = 1.19, 7.70) and hospice care (OR = 1.14, CI = 1.06, 1.23), respectively. HF diagnosis and AD attitudes increased the preference for CPR and hospice care, respectively. This suggests that it is important to gain positive attitudes toward ADs and consider diagnostic context to facilitate informed decision-making for LSTs.
Patients with disorders of consciousness after severe brain injury need surrogate decision makers to guide treatment decisions on their behalf. Formal guidelines for surrogate decisionmaking generally instruct decision makers to first appeal to a patient's written advance directive, followed by making a substituted judgment of what the patient would have chosen, and lastly, to make decisions according to what seems to be in the patient's best medical interests. Substituted judgment is preferable because it is taken to preserve patient autonomy, by using a patient's past wishes and values to reconstruct what they would have chosen for themselves. In this paper, the author argues that for a certain population of patients, the standard interpretation of substituted judgment cannot ensure the preservation of patient autonomy. Patients with "covert awareness" may continue to have values and an authentic sense of self, which may differ from their past values and wishes. Accordingly, surrogate decision makers should make decisions based on how the patient is likely to experience their condition in the present, rather than their past wishes and values.
INTRODUCTION: Patients with haematological malignancies may not be receiving appropriate referrals to palliative care and continuing to have treatments in the end stages of their disease. This systematic review of qualitative research aimed to synthesise healthcare professionals' (HCPs) views and experiences of palliative care for adult patients with a haematologic malignancy.
METHODS: A systematic search strategy was undertaken across eight databases. Thomas and Harden's approach to thematic analysis guided synthesis on the seventeen included studies. GRADE-GRADEQual guided assessment of confidence in the synthesised findings.
RESULTS: Three analytic themes were identified: (a) "Maybe we can pull another 'rabbit out of the hat'," represents doctors' therapeutic optimism, (b) "To tell or not to tell?" explores doctors' decision-making around introducing palliative care, and (c) "Hospice, home or hospital?" describes HCPs concerns about challenges faced by haematology patients at end of life in terms of transfusion support and risk of catastrophic bleeds.
CONCLUSION: Haematologists value the importance of integrated palliative care but prefer the term "supportive care." Early integration of supportive care alongside active curative treatment should be the model of choice in haematology settings in order to achieve the best outcomes and improved quality of life.
CONTEXT: Palliative care is known to improve patients' quality of life, but oftentimes these conversations occur outside of the healthcare setting.
OBJECTIVES: To characterize the #PalliativeCare Twitter network and evaluate the caregiver experience within palliative care.
METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, a total of 182,661 #PalliativeCare tweets by 26,837 users from June 1, 2015-June 1, 2019 were analyzed using Symplur Signals. Analysis included activity metrics, content analysis, user characteristics, engagement, and network analysis. Similar metrics were performed on tweets by self-identified caregivers (482), who wrote a total of 3,952 tweets. Qualitative analysis was completed on a systematic sample of caregiver tweets.
RESULTS: The number of #PalliativeCare tweets, users and impressions have increased by an annual average of 18.7%, 16.4%, and 32.5%, respectively. Support, access, and patients were among the Trending Terms. About 39.4% of Trending Articles were scientifically valid, and information about palliative care and comorbidities had the greatest number of articles. The majority of users wrote 5 or less #PalliativeCare tweets. Network analysis revealed central hubs to be palliative care advocacy organizations and physicians. The five main themes from qualitative analysis of caregiver tweets were (1) advocacy and events, (2) care strategies, (3) resources, (4) public health issues, and (5) myths related to palliative care.
CONCLUSION: The use of Twitter as a platform for palliative care conversations is growing rapidly. Twitter serves as a platform to facilitate #PalliativeCare conversation between patients, caregivers, physicians, and other healthcare providers.
OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to explore health professional, patient, family, and caregiver perceptions of palliative care, availability of palliative care services to patients across South Dakota, and consistency and quality of palliative care delivery.
METHODS: Six focus groups were conducted over two months. Participants included interprofessional healthcare team members, patients, family members of patients, and caregivers. Individuals with palliative care experiences or interest in palliative care were invited to participate. Recruitment strategies included emails, flyers, and direct contact by members of the Network. Snowball sampling was used to recruit participants.
RESULTS: Forty-six participants included patients, family members, caregivers and interprofessional health care team members. Most participants were Caucasian (93.3%) and female (80%). Six primary themes emerged: Need for guidance toward the development of a holistic statewide palliative care model; Poor conceptual understanding and awareness; Insufficient resources to implement complete care in all South Dakota communities; Disparities in the availability and provision of care services in rural SD communities; Need for relationship and connection with palliative care team; and Secondary effects of palliative care on patients/family/caregivers and interprofessional healthcare team members. Significance of Results: Disproportionate access is a principle problem identified for palliative care in rural South Dakota. Palliative care is poorly understood by providers and recipients of care. Service reach is also tempered by lack of resources and payer reimbursement constraints. A model for palliative care in these rural communities requires concerted attention to their unique needs and design of services suited for the rural residents.