Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode


Oct 6, 2022

Earlier this year palliative care was the correct response to the following clue on the game show Jeopardy:

From a Latin word for “to cloak”, it’s the type of care given to seriously ill patients to provide comfort without curing

What struck me most was not that palliative care was a question, nor that it made it seem that palliative care isn’t provided alongside care directed at curing, nor was it that hospice was the first buzzed in response, but it was that palliative care was the $2000 question in the Double Jeopardy round!  The fact that palliative care was the hardest of questions told me that we have a massive messaging problem in our field.

So what do we do about it?  Well, on today’s podcast we talk with Marian Grant and Tony Back, who with support form the John A Hartford Foundation and the Cambia Health Foundation, have done a deep dive into the research on layperson perceptions of palliative care, hospice, and advance care planning.  The result is a new toolkit to help us fix our messaging & engage the public: 

Questions we talk about include:

  • What do we know about the public’s perception of palliative care, hospice, and advance care planning?
  • What’s wrong with the “pictures of hands clasping each other” as our palliative care meme?
  • How can we bring in marketing strategies into our public messaging?
  • Don't palliative care clinicians already know how to explain things with empathy? Why is this different from clinical communication skills?
  • If we avoid talking about death, is it just contributing to the public death denial that is rampant in American culture?

Related Links

Public Perceptions of Advance Care Planning, Palliative Care, and Hospice: A Scoping Review

Public Messaging for Serious Illness Care in the Age of Coronavirus Disease: Cutting through Misconceptions, Mixed Feelings, and Distrust

Effective Messaging Strategies: A Review of the Evidence. Communicating to Advance the Public's Health: Workshop Summary