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[Hospice and palliative care in the outpatient department].

In the medical environment, information disclosure to patients and respect of autonomy have spread rapidly. Today, many terminally-ill cancer patients wish to spend as much time at home as possible. In such situations the patient who has been informed that curative treatments are no longer expected to be beneficial can now hope to receive home care and visiting care from hospice/palliative care services. The essential concepts of hospice/palliative care are symptom management, communication, family care and a multidisciplinary approach. These concepts are also important in the outpatient department. In particular, medical staff need to understand and utilize management strategies for common symptoms from which terminally-ill cancer patients suffer (ex. cancer pain, anorexia/fatigue, dyspnea, nausea/vomiting, constipation, hypercalcemia and psychological symptoms). They also need to know how to use continuous subcutaneous infusion for symptom management in the patients last few days. The present paper explains the clinical practices of hospice/palliative care in the outpatient department. Also discussed is support of individual lives so that maximum QOL is provided for patients kept at home.

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