Palliative Care and COPD | American Lung Association

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Palliative Care and COPD

Palliative care, also known as supportive care, is key in managing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This care is focused on helping you achieve the best possible quality of life. It is appropriate for all people living with COPD regardless of stage or prognosis.
If you or a loved one has COPD, palliative care can help you in several ways including:

  • Therapies to relieve the discomfort of shortness of breath or anxiety
  • Education about lifestyle changes during COPD
  • Medication and disease management

What Are the Benefits of Palliative Care?

Palliative care improves quality of life by relieving overwhelming physical and emotional symptoms and improving communication with your healthcare providers.

Who Administers Palliative Care?

Palliative care specialists include a team of doctors, nurses and social workers. Your other doctors and nurses will work to alleviate your symptoms, but palliative care specialists ensure that the goals of COPD care match your specific expectations.

How Do I Get Palliative Care?

Anytime is the best time to discuss palliative care during your journey in COPD care. Never fear that it is too late to seek out a palliative care specialist. Ask your doctor for a palliative care referral, or you can search for a palliative care team at GetPalliativeCare.org.


    Approved by Scientific and Medical Editorial Review Panel. Last reviewed November 15, 2016.

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