End Of Life Issues In Behavioral Medicine
Kevin S. Masters, Kristin Kilbourn, Chad E. Barrett
Published 2018 · Psychology
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End of life issues have been relatively neglected in behavioral medicine. Nevertheless, advances in public health, medicine, and emergency care have significantly changed the way many people die, and patients are often faced with end of life experiences that can be lengthy and decisions that can be difficult and based on uncertainty. Increased opportunities to access both palliative and hospice care are also changing the end of life experience and provide behavioral medicine practitioners and investigators with important opportunities. Areas of intervention include management of physical symptoms, especially pain, and treatment of emotional complications including depression and anxiety. Issues somewhat unique to end of life including loss of dignity, fear of being a burden to others, and focus on spiritual and existential concerns may prove challenging to behavioral medicine providers not trained in these areas. Patient caregivers face many similar and some unique issues; they too are the proper focus of behavioral medicine intervention. Finally, advanced care directives and the growing body of research addressing this important practice are considered along with future directions to improve end of life care.
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