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Development and Evaluation of an Outpatient Palliative Care Clinic

Benton, Kathleen, DrPH, MA; Zerbo, Kotwoallama Reine, DrPH, MPH; Decker, Megan, MPH; Buck, Brian, MPH

Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing: April 2019 - Volume 21 - Issue 2 - p 160–166
doi: 10.1097/NJH.0000000000000544
Feature Articles

Palliative care (PC) is an interdisciplinary team approach to address patients’ physical, psychosocial, and spiritual needs to improve quality of life among those who have faced a life-threatening illness. When PC services are provided in an outpatient setting, patients can stay in their homes and have all their physical, psychosocial, and spiritual needs met by a comprehensive health care team to ensure a good quality of life. Because outpatient PC clinics offer a viable option for delivering PC in communities but are not prevalent in the US health care system and were rarely described in the literature, this article has described the development and evaluation of an outpatient PC clinic that was dedicated to integrating spiritual care. Specifically, this article describes (1) the factors prompting development of the clinic and its growth, (2) how a chaplain was integrated into the PC provision process, and (3) the processes and outcomes of evaluation of this clinic.

Kathleen Benton, DrPH, MA, is CEO, Hospice Savannah and Steward Center, Georgia.

Kotwoallama Reine Zerbo, DrPH, MPH, is statistician, Center of Excellence in Suicide Prevention, Canandaigua, VAMC, VHA.

Megan Decker, MPH, is bioethics and palliative care intern, St Joseph’s/Candler Hospital System, Savannah, Georgia.

Brian Buck, MPH, is doctorate student, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro.

Address correspondence to Kathleen Benton, DrPH, MA, 44 Henderson Ave, Savannah, GA 31406 (

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

© 2019 by The Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association.