To understand the current limitations to providing the best care to patients dying of nonmalignant respiratory disease.
To understand how careful communication and support from the multidisciplinary team can improve this.
To discuss the role of an integrated care pathway for use with dying patients.
To understand the limitations of current knowledge and the importance of further research in this area.
Summary The development of palliative care as a speciality in its own right has led to great improvements in the care of dying patients, but both funding and service arrangements have meant that the majority of these improvements have been seen in patients dying with malignant diseases. Here we will consider how, by making the best use of current resources, we can improve the care and support given to patients dying of nonmalignant respiratory disease, as well as providing support to their families and carers.
- ©ERS 2008