Is your patient with cancer appropriate for a home-based palliative care referral? A palliative care referral will assist you in managing complex pain, symptoms, side-effects of curative therapies, co-morbidities, patient/family communication and other issues in. Palliative care teams will also save you time.

The following broad referral criteria have been developed to help you assess whether a palliative care referral would be beneficial to you and your patient. One or more of the following may indicate the need for referral to the palliative care team:

  • Metastatic or locally-advanced cancer progressing despite systemic treatments
  • Metastatic disease with uncontrolled pain
  • Declining ability to complete activities of daily living
  • Failure of first – or second-line chemotherapy
  • Multi-organ failure
  • Multiple hospitalizations
  • Difficult to control physical or emotional symptoms related to serious medical illness
  • Patient, family or physician uncertainty regarding goals of care
  • Patient or family requests for futile care
  • Patient, family or any other physician request for information on palliative care
  • Family caregiver request for guidance to manage patient’s care at home
  • Patient or family psychological or spiritual distress
  • Patient wanting to stop all treatment and needing continuing care at home
Refer a Patient

Benefits of palliative care for people with cancer include:

  • The ability to fully complete treatment
  • Improved quality of life during treatment
  • Increased ability to perform daily activities
  • Living longer
  • Improved ability to deal with the emotions
  • Increased connection to social support
  • Fewer hospitalizations