Palliative Care

If you are diagnosed with a serious or life-threatening illness, the physical, emotional, and psychological burden of the illness can be difficult to manage. Our palliative care specialists at Houston Methodist work with your treating physicians to ease the disease burden and to provide you with the best possible quality of life.

How Palliative Care Can Help You
Our experts in palliative care can assist in many ways: 

  • Managing distressing symptoms, such as pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite, anxiety, depression, and difficulty sleeping
  • Convening family meetings to discuss goals of care and to make difficult treatment choices
  • Coordinating care across health care services to maximize quality of life along the continuum of illness


What can I expect from palliative care?

  • Pain and non-pain symptom management
  • Planning for the future
  • Information and resources
  • Assistance with important decisions focusing on improving quality of life, improved communication and explanations of treatment choices 


The palliative care team does not replace the attending physician, but works  as an additional layer of support with the patient’s physician to coordinate care. The Palliative Care Team also works in close collaboration with the hospital social workers and chaplains to help ensure optimum care.


How does palliative care differ from hospice care?


Palliative Care

  • Supportive care for anyone with a serious illness
  • Available at any stage of a serious illness
  • Can coincide with curative treatment


Palliative Care with Hospice Care (a subset of Palliative Care)

  • Specialized care for the terminally ill patient
  • Available at the end stage of incurable illness
  • Patients are no longer receiving curative treatment
  • Prognosis of 6 months or less


If you or your loved one is interested in consulting with a palliative care expert, please inform a physician or nurse. 

Houston Methodist offers dedicated palliative care teams at the following campuses: