Palliative care offers pain and symptom management and emotional and spiritual support when you face a chronic, debilitating or life-threatening illness. Palliative care specialists work with you, your family and your care team to help improve your quality of life during and after treatment for your specific medical concern. It is provided in tandem with life-prolonging therapies.

Read more about palliative care.

About

Palliative care specialists work with you and your family to foster a sense of personal control, to maintain and improve your quality of life, and relieve your suffering when you face a chronic, debilitating or life-threatening illness. The goal of palliative medicine is to help you assess, anticipate and alleviate your suffering. Mayo Clinic offers palliative care to people who are hospitalized as well as to those who have returned home after treatment for their illness, or who have transitioned to other care facilities.

Typical concerns addressed by palliative care include pain, nausea, anxiety, depression, delirium, constipation, difficulty breathing (dyspnea), fatigue and insomnia. In addition to pain management, palliative care can involve discussing your prognosis and goals of care, treatment options or diagnostic interventions, advanced care planning, and bereavement support.

Your palliative care team can include psychologists or psychiatrists, dietitians, social workers or chaplains, alongside your medical specialists.

Hospital services

You or your primary doctor can request palliative care services at any time while you are at Mayo Clinic for treatment. Board-certified specialists initially meet with you and your family to begin building a care plan that meets your physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Research indicates that early use of palliative care services can extend life and provide you with a better quality of life.

Outpatient services

Palliative care services are not always available locally or through your own health care clinic. Outpatient services help you and your local doctor evaluate your needs and develop a care plan that is right for you. Mayo's outpatient service can supplement your care even if you are not being treated by a Mayo Clinic doctor.

Pediatric services

In addition to all the disciplines and specialists represented in an adult palliative care team, pediatric palliative care programs often include child life specialists who offer developmentally appropriate education and therapeutic play activities related to the health care experience. Mayo locations in Minnesota and Arizona offer pediatric palliative care programs.

  • Team approach. Board-certified palliative medicine specialists at Mayo Clinic work with a range of care providers, including your primary care doctor and other medical experts, pharmacists, dietitians, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers and chaplains to develop a care plan that is right for you.
  • Expertise. Palliative medicine specialists approach each person's case with creativity and empathy. They will meet with you and your family to understand your treatment goals and develop a plan that helps you better manage your physical, emotional and spiritual concerns.
  • Continuous improvement. As a research institution, Mayo Clinic doctors continually study how to improve the efficacy and effectiveness of palliative care. You benefit from those treated before you, and your treatment contributes to new knowledge for the future of palliative care.

At Mayo Clinic, we assemble a team of specialists who take the time to listen and thoroughly understand your health issues and concerns. We tailor the care you receive to your personal health care needs. You can trust our specialists to collaborate and offer you the best possible outcomes, safety and service.

Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit medical institution that reinvests all earnings into improving medical practice, research and education. We're constantly involved in innovation and medical research, finding solutions to improve your care and quality of life. Your doctor or someone on your medical team is likely involved in research related to your condition.

Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care — and trusted answers — like they've never experienced.

Why Choose Mayo Clinic

What Sets Mayo Clinic Apart

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people. In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Adult and pediatric palliative care is provided through a hospital-based consultation service. An outpatient palliative care clinic is available three days a week.The Sherman Home on-site hospice program also is available in conjunction with Hospice of the Valley.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 800-446-2279 (toll-free) 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mountain Standard Time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

Palliative care is provided through a special consultation service with outpatient consultation available two days a week and home visits available as needed. Mayo Clinic in Florida also has a palliative care training program for doctors. Mayo staff work with Community Hospice of Northeast Florida to ensure that your end-of-life needs are met.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 904-953-0853 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

Inpatient and outpatient palliative care is provided through a special consultation service. The Division of General Internal Medicine offers a Symptom Management, Pain and Quality of Life Clinic for outpatient consultation. Minnesota provides pediatric palliative care services through a combined pain and palliative care program for children. Palliative care specialists work with Mayo Clinic Hospice as well as other hospice services.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 507-538-3270 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

See information on patient services at the three Mayo Clinic locations, including transportation options and lodging.

Mayo Publications

See a list of publications by Mayo doctors on palliative care on PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine.

Jul. 22, 2011