• What is the difference between pallative care and maintennance?

    Asked by tooling66 on Saturday, January 12, 2013

    What is the difference between pallative care and maintennance?

    6 Answers from the Community

    6 answers
    • carm's Avatar

      Palliative care is any treatment, and this includes chemo, radiation, or surgery but the goal is to keep the patient comfortable and extend their life; it is no longer the goal to cure. Maintenence is still treating with the goal of cure; to keep the patient at optimum health at all times while trying to cure their disease. This includes treating all other comorbidities.

      over 5 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      I disagree as does the World Heath Organization and the National Cancer Institute.

      Palliative care treats the symptoms of a disease in order to kept the patient comfortable and as pain free as possible. It does not include chemo, radiation, or surgery since those would be treating the disease and causing side effects which are contrary to the notion of palliative care. Palliative care intends neither to hasten nor postpone death, but rather to support quality of life and comfort.

      Maintenance care usually refers to treating a chronic disease in the effort to prevent it from progressing or recurring. This can be the case with cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and many other conditions. It doesn't cure the disease, but attempts to prevent it from getting worse or returning. In the case of cancer, this could include chemo, radiation, surgery, and other treatments to keep the cancer from progressing any further or recurring after previous treatments.

      over 5 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      Maintenance is treating cancer like a chronic illness, the goal being to keep you stable with an eye to a cure. My Advanced Kidney cancer is being treated that way for 3.5 years. After some initial dramatic shrinkage an of my 5 very small lesions(3 of them actually are no longer there) they stayed the same (all under 1 cm, 1 as small a 3 MM.)

      Palliative care is about quality of life and keeping the patient pain free, comfortable, and not performing unnecessary procedures. This can be done at home, in the hospital, a hospice center or any combination of the above.

      over 5 years ago
    • carm's Avatar

      Tooling66, As you can see there are many opinions on this subject. I have worked for hospice & palliative centers. The term palliative care at one time, originally did refer to the care of patients with terminal illnesses, but now refers to the care of patients with life limiting illnesses, whether or not they are immenently dying. Medicine defines palliative medicine as "the study and management of patients with active, progressive, far advanced disease for whom the prognosis is limited, and the focus of care is quality of life." I have had many patients in palliative care who were treated with chemo, radiation, and surgery; if tumor burden is pressing on, and interfering with the function of an organ. Patients who were also given pleurex drains, bile duct stents, nephrostomy bags, trachs, etc.Their tumors are debulked or reduced in size so that they can eat again, or whatever they could not do because of the tumor. It is not curative treatment, the goal is to enhance the quality of care and try to return them to some kind of normalcy. Hospice on the other hand; is comfort without life extension, and end of life care is preparation for death. This is how it is defined by the United States American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. It is an arm of Hospice care, but Hospice predated it. I can't speak of hospitals across the country, but here in Illinois, it is not uncommon to see a hospital with an oncology/palliative unit. These patients are not getting regular regimens of chemo; just enough to shrink a tumor to a more manageable size so that they are free of pain and can return to a normal function that was impeded by that tumor. I can imagine that the American Cancer Society, and the World Health Organization might not see palliative care in the same light as those of us who practice it; but you must remember that they are in the curative business, and it would not be in their best interest to promote a practice that could harm their bottom line. I certainly wouldn't donate to an organization if I knew there was no chance of a cure, nor would I describe a practice that goes against my organization in a favorable light. It's not feasable to condone a discipline that goes against their tenet. This is always a term of controversy to many, after all, it is a relatively new practice; change never comes easy. However, for those of us who work or have worked in palliative care, it is what it says, to palliate, to make better, and to promote comfort and extend life whenever possible; without an attempt to cure. The information given here comes from two sources: Palliative Care Perspectives by James L Hallenbeck and Palliative Care Nursing 2nd ed. by Matzo & Sherman. Both are medical manuals. If I led you to believe that the chemo, radiation, and surgery is just like its prescribed in oncology, I apologize. Thank you for allowing me to clarify my position, Carm.

      over 5 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar

      Pallative care is used to treat chronic pain and also end of life (but using pallative care does not mean end of life).. Maintenance is continuing treatment to keep patient healthy....

      over 5 years ago
    • MaryTD777's Avatar

      If I may, I think that I can take the most of same words and make the answer not only clearer, but less frightening...

      ""Palliative care is any treatment, and this includes chemo, radiation, or surgery but the goal is to keep the patient comfortable and extend their life; it is no longer the goal to cure.""

      And, adjusted ~> Palliative care is any treatment, and this includes chemo, radiation, or surgery but the goal is to keep the patient comfortable ~ The goal of these treatments *as palliative* are not expected to cure the patient, but only to add comfort.

      Many times chemo, radiation or surgery ARE used when the goal is cure.

      I think the simple answer would be that palliative adds comfort and maintenance is to keep things from getting worse. (Cured would Certainly be better and NOT worse *smile")

      over 5 years ago

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