concept synthesis, geriatric palliative care, geropalliative



  1. Lee, Susan M. PhD, RN
  2. Coakley, Edward E. MS, MA, MEd, RN


The aging demography of the United States and other first-world countries is increasing the demands for palliative care. Palliative care is a philosophical stance as well as an interdisciplinary model of care delivery, the goals of which are to prevent and relieve suffering and to support the best quality of life for patients and their families, regardless of the stage of the disease or the need for other therapies. The palliative care needs of older adults are not unlike those of younger adults but are confounded by a variety of phenomena related to aging. The purpose of this article was to describe a concept synthesis of geropalliative care. Using Walker and Avant's method of concept synthesis, an electronic database search yielded 68 articles, the synthesis of which along with other evidence yielded 9 attributes of geropalliative care. To date, geropalliative care has been described from a disease perspective. The findings of this article begin to explicate the unique philosophical stance of geropalliative care as well as critical attributes that must be considered to provide the safest and best quality care to older adults and their families during the last 2 to 5 years of life.