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Editorials |

Improving Communication and Rethinking Hospice Care

Amy M. Corcoran, MD; David J. Casarett, MD, MA
Author and Funding Information

From the Department of Clinical Medicine, Division of Geriatrics (Dr Corcoran), and Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center (Dr Casarett), University of Pennsylvania.

Correspondence to: Amy M. Corcoran, MD, Penn-Ralston Center, 3615 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19104; e-mail: amym.corcoran@uphs.upenn.edu


Financial/nonfinancial disclosure: The authors have reported to CHEST that no potential conflicts of interest exist with any companies/organizations whose products or services may be discussed in this article.

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians (www.chestpubs.org/site/misc/reprints.xhtml).


© 2010 American College of Chest Physicians


Chest. 2010;137(6):1262-1263. doi:10.1378/chest.10-0040
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Extract

In this issue of CHEST (see page 1427), Moore and von Gunten1 address an important topic that has received a great deal of attention in the literature and, more recently, in the health-care reform debate. As the hospice industry has grown, patients with noncancer diagnoses are increasingly enrolling in hospice, and this is particularly true of patients with chronic cardiac and pulmonary conditions. These patients, and their physicians, face what are often uncomfortable conversations. End-of-life conversations have been the subject of numerous studies and many authors have distilled existing research into recommendations for physicians.2-4 Unfortunately, there has been little empirical research focused on hospice conversations, and even fewer recommendations as to how physicians should engage in difficult discussions about hospice.5 Moore and von Gunten present an approach to these conversations that draws on previous research and recommendations and offer a valuable guide.

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