REFLECTIONS ON PRACTICE How COVID-19 has changed the dying experience for acute care patients and their families

Kalliopi Stilos, Jennifer D. Moore


COVID-19 was officially declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020, altering healthcare practices in numerous ways. While adhering to mandatory physical distancing policies to prevent the spread of the virus, healthcare providers have been challenged to adapt to continuous changes in procedures while caring for patients. A notable unanticipated consequence of COVID-19 is the impact on palliative care practitioners treating COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients, especially in caring for patients at end of life. The pandemic has impacted the end-of-life care experience of hospitalized patients and practitioners in profound ways. These experiences demonstrate a greater level of loneliness, difficulties in decision-making and communication, and an intense emotional impact on patients, their families, and clinicians.

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