Strategies for Change—A Collaborative Journey to Transform Advanced Illness Care

November 2016

This resource identifies and describes person-centered preferences that can inform approaches to advanced illness care. It also highlights exemplars of innovative programs that are trying new methods of care to accommodate these preferences.

  • Six person-centered preferences to help guide approaches to end-of-life are: purpose and connection, physical comfort, emotional and psychological well-being, family and caregiver support, financial security, and peaceful death and dying.
  • There may be ways to ensure preferences in each category are met. For example, for physical comfort, therapies such as music, massage, and aromatherapy may offer patients relief. Simple environmental stimuli, such as lighting, noise, or smells, can also be used strategically.
  • San Diego Hospice uses “dignity therapy,” a psychotherapy intervention that involves interviewing the patient about his or her life, then producing a document (or “legacy”) to share with family and friends as desired. Early studies show high satisfaction with dignity therapy among both patients and families.
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