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Help to see the glass half full

Palliative care—a medical specialty focused on the relief of pain and stress of a serious illness—may help you have a rosier outlook. In a report from the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers studied more than 300 people with advanced cancer. Half received their usual cancer treatment plus four weekly educational sessions and monthly follow-up meetings that encouraged self-management and empowerment. The other half received standard treatment with no palliative care. The findings? Those who received the palliative care had an improved quality of life and mood, but they didn’t see a significant change in the number of days spent in the hospital or visits to the emergency department or the severity of symptoms compared to people who received usual care. The bottom line: While it may not keep you out of the hospital, palliative care could improve your spirits and provide you with the lift you need to face your battle.