Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Medical Science (MMSc)

First Advisor

Jennifer Kapo, MD


Palliative care enhances a patient’s quality of life by managing symptoms and psychosocial needs and facilitating advanced care planning. Engagement with palliative care improves satisfaction with care in patients and the informal caregivers identified by patients. However, palliative care is underutilized because many patients and their informal caregivers have limited knowledge about palliative care. Decision aids effectively educate patients and informal caregivers in a variety of clinical settings. We propose a randomized clinical trial that will test the effectiveness of a decision aid for informal caregivers considering palliative care. Specifically, we will match informal caregivers to a decision aid and compare the efficacy of this aid to that of usual care. Improved informal caregivers’ knowledge of palliative care may increase patient and informal caregiver engagement with its service. The decision aid may significantly increase learning compared to usual care, which will impact guidelines regarding the approach to palliative care referrals.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access