Palliative care provided soon and frequently after a terminal cancer diagnosis can improve a patient’s mood and ability to relate end-of-life wishes, reports Healio.

Temel and colleagues found that intervention patients had significantly greater improvement in quality of life from baseline to week 24 than usual care patients (FACT-G from baseline, 1.59 vs. –3.4; P = .01), but the difference was not significant not from baseline to week 12 (0.39 vs. –1.13).

Intervention patients also reported lower depression at week 24 (adjusted mean difference –1.17; 95% CI, –2.33 to 0.01; P = .048).

Patients with lung cancer who received at least monthly palliative care consultations reported improvements in quality of life and depression at 12 and 24 weeks, whereas usual care patients with lung cancer reported deterioration.

Patients with gastrointestinal cancers in both study groups reported improvements in quality of life and mood by week 12.

Twice as many intervention patients compared with control patients of both cancer types discussed their wishes with their oncologists (30.2% vs. 14.5%; P = .004).