Palliative care and advance care planning in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Takeaway

  • Incorporating long-term interdisciplinary palliative care (PC) for patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a feasible approach that targets the patients’ needs in multiple domains.

Why this matters

  • ALS is an incurable disease characterized by progressive muscle weakness and loss of function and results in death from respiratory failure within 2–3 years of diagnosis.

  • The gradual loss of function in patients with ALS causes significant physical and emotional strain on the patients and those close to them.

  • PC is focused on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of illness, and may improve quality of life for patients with ALS and their caregivers. However, there is limited literature that demonstrates effective models for delivering integrated PC in the ALS setting.