Purpose: Gliomas are primary brain tumors with a life-limiting course of disease, and the last weeks of life are often characterized by neurological deficits that affect communication and personality. End-of-life treatment in this patient group therefore requires specific approaches. To date, little data is available on patients’ and caregivers’ needs and experiences in the last phase of the disease.
Methods: In this observational study, relatives of patients treated at the University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland and deceased 2015–2017 due to glioma progression were contacted to complete a structured questionnaire assessing caregivers experience within the last weeks of the disease.
Results: The survey was sent to 120 relatives of deceased patients with a glioma (WHO grades II–IV) (median patient age: 62 years; 73.8% male). Forty-three questionnaires were returned (37.7%). Approximately half of the patients were taken care of at home in the last 4 weeks of the disease, mainly with the assistance of in-home nursing care, of which eventually 14 patients (63.6%) died at home. While caregivers reported high satisfaction with medical and nursing care, psychological support was rated average to poor on a 10-point scale. Free comment fields were used widely, revealing open questions and needs of the relatives.
Conclusions: This study illustrates the need for a more patient-centered end-of-life care including higher psychological support mechanisms, and a higher inclusion and consideration of relatives and caregivers into the care focus. Earlier discussion of end-of-life preferences could prevent hospitalizations in the last phase of life and could improve patients’ and caregivers’ quality of life.
Background: Lung transplant patients experience significant physical symptoms and psychological stress that affect their quality of life. Palliative care is an interdisciplinary specialty associated with improved symptom management and enhanced quality of life. Little, however, is known about the palliative care needs of lung transplant patients and the role it plays in their care.
Aim: The aim of this integrative review was to synthesize the literature describing the palliative care needs, the current role, and factors influencing the integration of palliative care in the care of lung transplant patients.
Design/Data Sources: We searched PubMed, Scopus, CINAHL, and Embase to identify English-language, primary studies focused on palliative care in adult lung transplantation. Study quality was evaluated using Strengthening the Report of Observational studies in Epidemiology and Consolidated Criteria for Reporting Qualitative Research criteria.
Results: Seven articles were included in the review. Most were single-center, descriptive studies. Two studies used qualitative and 5 used quantitative methodologies. Collectively, these studies suggest that palliative care is typically consulted for physical and psychological symptom management, although consultation is uncommon and often occurs late in the lung transplant process. We found no studies that systematically assessed palliative needs. Misperceptions about palliative care, communication challenges, and unrealistic patient/family expectations are identified barriers to the integration. While limited, evidence suggests that palliative care can be successfully integrated into lung transplant patient management.
Conclusions: Empirical literature about palliative care in lung transplantation is sparse. Further research is needed to define the needs and opportunities for integration into the care of these patients.
Objectives: Patients in oncological and palliative care (PC) often have complex needs, which require a comprehensive treatment approach. The assessment of patient-reported outcomes (PROs) has been shown to improve identification of patient needs and foster adjustment of treatment. This study explores occupational routines, attitudes and expectations of physicians and nurses with regards to a planned electronic assessment system of PROs.
Methods: ten physicians and nine nurses from various PC settings in Southern Germany were interviewed. The interviews were analysed with qualitative content analysis.
Results: The interviewees were sceptical about the quality of data generated through a patient self-assessment system. They criticised the rigidity of the electronic assessment questionnaire, which the interviewees noted may not fit the profile of all palliative patients. They feared the loss of personal contact between medical staff and patients and favoured in-person conversation and on-site observations on site over the potential system. Interviewees saw potential in being able to discover unseen needs from some patients. Interviewees evaluated the system positively in the case that the system served to broadly orient care plans without affecting or reducing the patient-caregiver relationship.
Conclusions: A significant portion of the results touch upon the symbolic acceptance of the suggested system, which stands for an increasing standardisation and technisation of medicine where interpersonal contact and the professional expertise are marginalized. The study results can provide insight for processes and communication in the run-up to and during the implementation of electronic assessment systems.
Background: End-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic heart failure (CHF) and chronic renal failure (CRF) are characterized by a high burden of daily symptoms that, irrespective of the primary organ failure, are widely shared.
Aims: To evaluate whether and to which extent symptom-based clusters of patients with end-stage COPD, CHF and CRF associate with patients’ health status, mobility, care dependency and life-sustaining treatment preferences.
Methods: 255 outpatients with a diagnosis of advanced COPD (n = 95), advanced CHF (n = 80) or CRF requiring dialysis (n = 80) were visited in their home environment and underwent a multidimensional assessment: clinical characteristics, symptom burden using Visual Analog Scale (VAS), health status questionnaires, timed “Up and Go” test, Care Dependency Scale and willingness to undergo mechanical ventilation or cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Three clusters were obtained applying K-means cluster analysis on symptoms’ severity assessed via VAS. Cluster characteristics were compared using non-parametric tests.
Results: Cluster 1 patients, with the least symptom burden, had a better quality of life, lower care dependency and were more willing to accept life-sustaining treatments than others. Cluster 2, with a high presence and severity of dyspnea, fatigue, cough, muscle weakness and mood problems, and Cluster 3, with the highest occurrence and severity of symptoms, reported similar care dependency and life-sustaining treatment preferences, while Cluster 3 reported the worst physical health status.
Discussion: Symptom-based clusters identify patients with different health needs and might help to develop palliative care programs.
Conclusion: Clustering by symptoms identifies patients with different health status, care dependency and life-sustaining treatment preferences.
Objective: This study aimed to clarify the experiences and hidden needs of older patients with advanced cancer, their families and their physicians in palliative chemotherapy decision-making.
Materials and Methods: We conducted in-depth qualitative individual interviews with content analysis. Patients who were diagnosed as having advanced cancer, were aged =70 years (n = 15, median [range] = 77 [70–82] years) and had volunteered to receive palliative chemotherapy within the past 6 months were enrolled. Their families and physicians were also interviewed.
Results: The following four themes were identified: (i) physician’s awareness of paternalism; (ii) readiness for communication of serious news; (iii) spiritual care need assessment and (iv) support as a team. The patients and families expected physicians to demonstrate paternalism in their decision-making because they were unconfident about their self-determination capability. Although the physicians were aware of this expectation, they encountered difficulties in recommending treatment and communicating with older patients. The patients had spiritual pain since the time of diagnosis. Psychological issues were rarely discussed during decision-making and treatment, triggering feelings of isolation in the patients and their families.
Conclusion: Older patients and their families expected a paternalistic approach by the physicians for palliative chemotherapy decision-making. The physicians found it difficult to offer treatment options because of older patient diversity and limitations in evidence-based strategies. Therefore multidisciplinary approaches and evidence-based decision support aids are warranted. Because older patients and their families often have unexpressed psychological burdens including unmet spiritual needs, medical professionals should provide psychological care from the time of diagnosis.
Background: despite being a terminal neurodegenerative disease, the role of palliative care is less recognised for motor neurone disease than for other life-limiting conditions. Understanding the experiences of, and need for, palliative care for patients and carers is key to configuring optimal policy and healthcare services.
Aim: To explore the experiences of, and need for, palliative care of people with motor neurone disease and their informal carers across the disease trajectory.
Design: A systematic review of qualitative research conducted using Thematic Synthesis – PROSPERO registration CRD42017075311.
Data Sources: four electronic databases were searched (MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Social Science Citation Index) using terms for motor neurone disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, palliative care, and qualitative research, from inception to November 2018. Included papers were data extracted and assessed for quality.
Results: A total of 41 papers were included, representing the experiences of 358 people with motor neurone disease and 369 caregivers. Analytical themes were developed detailing patients’ and carers’ experiences of living with motor neurone disease and of palliative care through its trajectory including response to diagnosis, maintaining control, decision-making during deterioration, engaging with professionals, planning for end-of-life care, bereavement.
Conclusion: The review identified a considerable literature exploring the care needs of people with motor neurone disease and their carers; however, descriptions of palliative care were associated with the last days of life. Across the disease trajectory, clear points were identified where palliative care input could enhance patient and carer experience of the disease, particularly at times of significant physical change.
OBJECTIVE: Patients with head and neck cancer (HNC) face a unique set of unmet needs. A subset of these patients experience symptom control challenges related to their disease burden and treatments. A multidisciplinary approach involving palliative medicine is underutilized but crucial to identify and address these concerns. There is limited information on palliative integration with head and neck oncology.
STUDY DESIGN: Case series with planned data collection.
SETTING: Academic quaternary care center.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS: We provide descriptive analyses of patients with HNC, including psychodiagnostic assessment and validated quality-of-life screening, from patients' first encounter at outpatient palliative medicine.
RESULTS: HNC (N = 80) contributed the greatest number of palliative referrals (25%) between 2010 and 2012. This cohort was 74% male and 79% Caucasian with a mean age of 53 years (95% CI, 51.1-54.9) and with stage IV disease of the oral cavity (28%) or oropharynx (31%). Sixty-three percent of patients had no evidence of disease. Seventy-five percent had a psychological history based on DSM-IV criteria (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition), and 70% had a history of substance use disorder. The most distressing quality-of-life concerns were pain, housing and financial problems, and xerostomia.
CONCLUSIONS: Patients with HNC who were referred to palliative medicine are burdened by multiple physical, psychological, substance use, and social challenges. We recommend comprehensive cancer-specific screening, such as the James Supportive Care Screening, to triage patients to appropriate supportive care services. Palliative care is one of many services that these patients may need, and it should be utilized at any point of the disease trajectory rather than reserved for end-of-life care.
This study was conducted to determine neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nurses' opinions about the palliative care needs of neonates with multiple congenital anomalies. The study sample consisted of the 20 nurses who agreed to participate in the study and worked in the NICU between November and December 2017. A one-to-one interview method was utilized using a semistructured interview form. Written consent was obtained from participants and reconfirmed verbally prior to data collection. In the study, most of the nurses stated that the therapeutic medical treatment should not be started for dying neonates with multiple congenital anomalies. It was also found that nurses did not have enough palliative care knowledge for neonates. The palliative care needs of the neonates with multiple congenital anomalies in NICUs were found to be pain management, infection care, enhancing quality of life by avoiding unnecessary medical practices, skin care, the care of the baby in the ventilator, timely application of the treatment of neonates, and supporting family.
INTRODUCTION: Across the developed world, there are concerns about 'inappropriate' use of the emergency department (ED). Patients with palliative care needs frequently attend the ED. Previous studies define the 'reason' for presentation as the 'presenting symptom', which ignores the perspectives of service users. This paper addresses an acknowledged gap in the literature, which fails to examine the decision-making process that brings patients to the ED.
METHODS: In-depth narrative interviews were conducted with 7 patients (known to a specialist palliative care service and presenting to the ED during a 10-week period) and 2 informal caregivers. Analysis drew on 'Burden of Treatment Theory' to examine the meaning attributed by participants to their experience of serious acute illness, their capacity for action and the work required to access emergency care.
RESULTS: 5 themes were identified about how and why emergency services were accessed: capacity for action, making sense of local services, making decisions to access emergency services, experience of emergency care and coping with change. All narratives captured concerns surrounding the complexity of services. Participants struggled to piece together the jigsaw of services, and were subsequently more likely to attend the ED. Differences between the ways that patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cancer accessed the ED were prominent.
CONCLUSIONS: Further work is needed to understand and respond to decisions leading patients with palliative care needs to the ED, particularly in the context of locally fragmented services, poor signposting and confusion about available healthcare. The perspectives of service users are essential in shaping emergency care.
BACKGROUND: Despite recognition that palliative care is an essential component of any humanitarian response, serious illness-related suffering continues to be pervasive in these settings. There is very limited evidence about the need for palliative care and symptom relief to guide the implementation of programs to alleviate the burden of serious illness-related suffering in these settings. A basic package of essential medications and supplies can provide pain relief and palliative care; however, the practical availability of these items has not been assessed. This study aimed to describe the illness-related suffering and need for palliative care in Rohingya refugees and caregivers in Bangladesh.
METHODS AND FINDINGS: Between November 20 and 24, 2017, we conducted a cross-sectional study of individuals with serious health problems (n = 156, 53% male) and caregivers (n = 155, 69% female) living in Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh, using convenience sampling to recruit participants at the community level (i.e., going house to house to identify eligible individuals). The serious health problems, recent healthcare experiences, need for medications and medical supplies, and basic needs of participants were explored through interviews with trained Rohingya community members, using an interview guide that had been piloted with Rohingya individuals to ensure it reflected the specificities of their refugee experience and culture. The most common diagnoses were significant physical disabilities (n = 100, 64.1%), treatment-resistant tuberculosis (TB) (n = 32, 20.5%), cancer (n = 15, 9.6%), and HIV infection (n = 3, 1.9%). Many individuals with serious health problems were experiencing significant pain (62%, n = 96), and pain treatments were largely ineffective (70%, n = 58). The average age was 44.8 years (range 2-100 years) for those with serious health problems and 34.9 years (range 8-75 years) for caregivers. Caregivers reported providing an average of 13.8 hours of care per day. Sleep difficulties (87.1%, n = 108), lack of appetite (58.1%, n = 72), and lack of pleasure in life (53.2%, n = 66) were the most commonly reported problems related to the caregiving role. The main limitations of this study were the use of convenience sampling and closed-ended interview questioning.
CONCLUSIONS: In this study we found that many individuals with serious health problems experienced significant physical, emotional, and social suffering due to a lack of access to pain and symptom relief and other essential components of palliative care. Humanitarian responses should develop and incorporate palliative care and symptom relief strategies that address the needs of all people with serious illness-related suffering and their caregivers.
Introduction: Palliative care is specialized health care focused on improving the quality of life amid serious illness. Patients with hematologic malignancies have significant needs that could be addressed by a multidisciplinary palliative care team, but the integration of palliative care into hematology is far behind that of solid tumor oncology. Areas covered: This article considers what is known about the palliative care needs of hematologic malignancy patients, shows how the multidisciplinary palliative care team could improve their care, and explores how barriers to this relationship might be overcome. The evidence to support this review comes from review of recent, relevant papers known to the authors as well as PubMed searches of additional relevant articles over the past 3 years. Expert opinion: Further cultivating this relationship requires us to thoughtfully integrate the multidisciplinary palliative care team to respond to each patient's specific disease and needs, and do so at the ideal time, to maximize benefits.
BACKGROUND: Cancer and its treatment can cause persistent psychosocial consequences for patients. Although distress among the general cancer population has been well studied, many patients who report high distress do not receive specialty, follow-up care. We know little about the distress needs of those who attend appointments with support services. Improved knowledge of this subpopulation of patients with cancer may improve supportive care service delivery.
METHODS: This is a descriptive chart review that examines results from a cancer distress tool in an outpatient supportive care clinic and explores factors associated with distress among patients who attend an appointment for support beyond usual oncologic care. All adult patients with a cancer diagnosis presenting to the supportive care clinic during a 120-day period for an initial intake completed a self-report needs assessment tool. A review of medical records was then conducted. Primarily descriptive statistics, mean comparison, and correlational analysis summarized the data.
RESULTS: Nearly 48% of individuals rated very severe distress in at least one area of functioning. Areas with the highest average distress ratings included pain, fatigue, sleep, and anxiety. No significant associations were found between total distress scores and demographic or illness-related variables. Anxiety and depression were higher among those scheduled to see a behavioral health specialist than a palliative provider.
CONCLUSIONS: Patient and illness factors were not associated with needs among those who attended appointments with support providers. Study results suggest that a biopsychosocial approach from interdisciplinary providers is warranted to manage the needs of patients referred for additional supportive care.
Background: While the populations of children who can benefit from paediatric palliative care (PPC) have been broadly defined, identifying individual patients to receive PPC has been problematic in practice. The Paediatric Palliative Screening scale (PaPaS) is a multi-dimensional tool that assesses palliative care needs in children and families to facilitate timely referrals. This study evaluates its use to manage new referrals and ongoing review of patients receiving home-based PPC in Singapore.
Methods: Using a retrospective cohort study design, 199 patients admitted to receive PPC via clinician screening were scored using PaPaS. Eighty-four patients in two groups were scored again at one of two following milestones: one-year service continuation mark or point of discharge before a year. Accuracy measures were compared against clinical assessment.
Results: 96.98% of patients scored 15 and above on admission (indicating need for PPC). Patients assessed at following milestones were effectively stratified; those who continued to receive service after 1 year scored significantly higher (M = 19.23) compared to those who were discharged within a year (M = 7.86). Sensitivity and specificity for PaPaS were calculated at 82.54 and 100% respectively. Overall congruence with clinician-based decisions supports the utility of PaPaS as a screening tool in PPC. Recommendations to improve the scale further are proposed.
Conclusion: The PaPaS is a practical screening tool that signposts PPC needs within the clinical setting. This facilitates early referrals to PPC, without having to specify individual prognoses that are often uncertain. Other benefits include optimised continuity of care and implications for resource allocation.
Background: People with dementia requiring palliative care have multiple needs, which are amplified in long-term care settings. The European Association for Palliative Care White Paper offers recommendations for optimal palliative care in dementia integral for this population, providing useful guidance to inform interventions addressing their specific needs.
Aim: The aim of this study is to describe the components of palliative care interventions for people with dementia in long-term care focusing on shared decision-making and examine their alignment to the European Association for Palliative Care domains of care.
Design: Systematic review with narrative synthesis (PROSPERO ID: CRD42018095649).
Data sources: Four databases (MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO and CENTRAL) were searched (earliest records – July 2019) for peer-reviewed articles and protocols in English, reporting on palliative care interventions for people with dementia in long-term care, addressing European Association for Palliative Care Domains 2 (person-centred) or 3 (setting care goals) and >=1 other domain.
Results: Fifty-one papers were included, reporting on 32 studies. For each domain (1–10), there were interventions found aiming to address its goal, although no single intervention addressed all domains. Domain 7 (symptom management; n = 19), 6 (avoiding overly aggressive treatment; n = 18) and 10 (education; n = 17) were the most commonly addressed; Domain 5 (prognostication; n = 7) and 4 (continuity of care; n = 2) were the least addressed.
Conclusion: Almost all domains were addressed across all interventions currently offered for this population to various degrees, but not within a singular intervention. Future research optimally needs to be theory driven when developing dementia-specific interventions at the end of life, with the European Association for Palliative Care domains serving as a foundation to inform the best care for this population.
Background: Studies suggest palliative care may be different in cystic fibrosis (CF) than in other conditions. To provide quality palliative care to individuals with CF, unique needs must be understood.
Objective: To examine perceptions of how palliative care may be different in CF, top palliative needs of individuals with CF, and barriers to palliative care in CF.
Methods: Online surveys with closed- and open-ended questions about palliative care needs were administered to multiple stakeholders in CF care, including adults with CF, caregivers of individuals with CF, and CF care team members from U.S. centers. We used descriptive statistics to report survey findings.
Results: A total of 70 adults with CF, 100 caregivers, and 350 care team members completed surveys. While care team members reported they introduce palliative care to patients a majority of the time, adults with CF and caregivers rarely recalled learning about it. Very few reported having seen a palliative care specialist. A majority of participants reported that palliative care is valuable in CF care. Over 80% of participants felt palliative care is different in CF, most often citing the unpredictable disease course. Top palliative care needs identified include emotional support, emotional symptom management, and communication about treatment decisions. Major barriers to palliative care identified include perception that it is for dying people and lack of CF care team knowledge and training in palliative care.
Conclusions: Participants felt palliative care is valuable in CF and identified many palliative care needs, and also barriers that can be addressed with education and training. Our findings will be used to develop interventions targeting specific needs and inform guidelines to enhance provision of palliative care in CF.
Background: Palliative care is in its infancy in most of the developing world. We set out to explore the lived experiences of families and caregivers of recently deceased cancer patients in Trinidad and Tobago and to determine the unmet needs of the patients and what recommendations could be derived to improve the current services.
Methods: A phenomenological approach with purposeful sampling was used. Participants were referred by key health professionals. Face-to-face interviews were conducted. Interviews were transcribed verbatim, with analysis and data collection occurring concurrently. Thematic content analysis was used to determine common domains, themes and sub-themes.
Results: Interviews were completed with 15 caregivers. All were spouses or children of the deceased. Ages of the deceased ranged from 43 to 93, the average being 65.5 years. The deceased experienced a variety of cancers including lung, colorectal and oesophageal.
Unmet needs were identified under 4 domains of institutions, community, the family unit and the wider society. Institutional unmet needs were delayed diagnosis and treatment and poor inter-institution coordination. Medical and nursing care failed in the areas of health care providers’ attitudes, pain management and communication. The family unit lacked physical and psychosocial support for the caregiver and financial aid for the family unit. Societal needs were for public education to address myths and cultural beliefs around cancer.
Conclusion: There is need for systemic interventions to improve the care of those dying from cancer in Trinidad and Tobago. Stakeholders need to commit to palliative care as a public health priority, implementing education, planning services and mobilizing community resources.
AIM: The awareness for the need for end-of-life care has increased among noncancer patients. However, studies on the topic have rarely targeted the needs of noncancer patients who want to die at home. This study assessed the end-of-life care needs of noncancer patients who were receiving care and wanted to die at home.
METHODS: A cross-sectional study design was used and involved 200 participants who were diagnosed as noncancer patients and receiving home care nursing. Data were collected on demographics, disease, Palliative Performance Scale (PPS) scores, and end-of-life care needs, in April and May, 2016.
RESULTS: Among the six areas of care, "supporting fundamental needs" of patients required the most care, followed by "coordination among family or relatives." Multivariate analysis revealed that the duration of home care nursing held a significant association with end-of-life care needs.
CONCLUSION: By reflecting on the comprehensive care needs of patients with chronic illnesses and including them in the care process, it will be possible to provide better quality palliative care to patients at home in the end-of-life stages.
INTRODUCTION: Patients faced with incurable cancer may experience a lack of support from their physician throughout and after treatment. Studies on the needs and experiences of these patients are scarce. In this study, we explored the needs and experiences of patients diagnosed with incurable cancer regarding the conversation, in which they were told that their cancer was incurable, the care received after this conversation, and their preferences regarding end-of-life conversations.
METHODS: Data were cross-sectionally collected through a national online survey in the Netherlands (September 2018). Descriptive statistics and correlation coefficients were reported and subgroups were compared.
RESULTS: Six hundred fifty-four patients (mean age 60 years; 58% women) completed the survey. Patients were primarily diagnosed with breast cancer (22%) or a hematological malignancy (21%). Patients reported a strong need for emotional support during the conversation, in which they were told their cancer was incurable (mean score 8.3; scale 1-10). Their experienced satisfaction with received emotional support was mediocre (mean score 6.4; scale 1-10). Of those patients who felt like they did not receive any additional care (37%) after the diagnosis, the majority expressed a clear need for this kind of care (59%). Mostly, support pertained to psychosocial issues. Regarding conversations about the end of life, most patients (62%) expressed a need to discuss this topic, and preferred their healthcare provider to initiate this conversation.
CONCLUSION: Care for patients with incurable cancer can be further improved by tailoring conversations to specific needs and timely providing appropriate supportive care services.
New approaches are needed to assist residential aged care (RAC) staff increase their skills and confidence in identifying when residents are nearing the dying phase and managing symptoms. One new evidence-based approach to improve palliative and end-of-life care in RAC is outreach Specialist Palliative Care Needs Rounds (monthly triage and risk stratification meetings – hereafter Needs Rounds); as yet untried in rural settings which may face unique enablers or challenges. Needs Rounds were introduced into two RAC facilities in the rural Snowy Monaro region of New South Wales, Australia. This study explored staff and general practitioners’(GPs’) experiences and perceptions of palliative and end-of-life care in rural RAC, and staff confidence and capability in providing such care, prior to, and after the introduction of Needs Rounds. A mixed-methods, pre- and post-intervention approach was taken, utilizing a Likert-scale written questionnaire and face-to-face semi-structured interviews. Between March and November 2018, 61 questionnaires were completed by 48 RAC staff (33 pre-, 28 post-intervention); eight staff and three GPs were interviewed. Despite system and site-specific barriers, staff self-reported that Needs Rounds increased their capability in providing end-of-life care (p = 0.04; 95% CI 0.20–7.66), and improved staff: (1) awareness of end of life, reflective practice, and critical thinking; (2) end-of-life decision making and planning; and (3) pain management. Needs Rounds are acceptable and feasible in rural RAC. Palliative and end-of-life care for residents may be improved through education, collaboration, communication, and planning. Further studies should explore running Needs Rounds via telehealth and/or utilizing a multidisciplinary approach.
A palliative approach to care is person-centered and aims to minimize overall disease burden among patients with serious illnesses. There is rising interest in the role of palliative care to improve quality of life among patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). While there is a clear indication for palliative care involvement in those with advanced disease, there is also increasing evidence for the role palliative care may play earlier in the course of PD. However, optimal methods for timing and implementation of these services remain unclear. Here, we aim to explore the palliative needs of individuals with PD from the time of diagnosis over the entire course of the illness. We discuss methods for delivering palliative care services including consultative specialty palliative care, neurologist or primary care-delivered palliative care (primary palliative care), and the emerging specialty of neuropalliative care. We also explore novel care delivery methods and their role in improving patient access to palliative services. We argue that primary palliative care is optimally positioned for the delivery of palliative care for the majority of patients with PD over the course of their illness and explore how and when palliative medicine or neuropalliative specialists can supplement this care. Finally, we describe gaps in our current understanding of outpatient palliative care delivery among the PD population including the development of better methods to identify the palliative needs of patients, the validation of novel care delivery mechanisms, and the need to enhance neurologists' and other medical providers' education in the provision of palliative care services.