by Cheryl Dileo, PhD, MT-BC and Joanne Loewy, DA, MT-BC
Patients and their families coping with life threatning illnesses experience compelling needs in multiple domains, including tge physical and instrumental, psychosocial, spiritual and economic. Historically, these needs have been poorly addressed by a complex health care system focused on a curative model of care. In many countries of the developed world, alternative models have evolved in an effort to provide holistic and comprehensive care that is not intended to treat the disease or its complications primarily, but rather, to relieve suffering for patients and their families, particularly at the end of life. Collectively known as “palliative care”, numerous alternative models have evolved around the world and have, to greater or lesser extent, attempted integration into health care systems.