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Illness trajectories and palliative care

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Murray SA1, Kendall M, Boyd K, Sheikh A.

Summary Points

Three typical illness trajectories have been
described for patients with progressive chronic
illness: cancer, organ failure, and the frail elderly
or dementia trajectory
Physical, social, psychological, and spiritual needs
of patients and their carers are likely to vary
according to the trajectory they are following
Being aware of these trajectories may help
clinicians plan care to meet their patient’s
multidimensional needs better, and help patients
and carers cope with their situation
Different models of care may be necessary that
reflect and tackle

Resource: BMJ. 2005 Apr 30;330(7498):1007-11.