adolescent and young adult, coronavirus, goals of care, nurse, palliative care, prognostication



  1. Koch, Amie DNP, FNP-C, RN, ACHPN
  2. Mantzouris, Stephen FNP, RN, ACHPN


This article presents the case of a mother of young children who has terminal stage IV cancer with whom providers had not discussed goals of care and prognostication. Communications about prognostication and goals of care are commonly initiated by physicians. Adolescents and young and middle-age adults with complex chronic or terminal illness often are not provided with timely, clear, complete information or palliative care support. Early palliative care for chronically ill patients facilitates discussions of prognostication and goals of care, in addition to providing symptom management. Such discussions do not diminish hope but rather allow patients to adjust hope to attain an optimal quality of life. Nurses can become active, confident advocates for patients with terminal illness of any age, and they are well positioned to assess patients and engage in goals of care and end-of-life conversations. It is especially important that palliative care nurses promote and maintain these early and comprehensive discussions during the COVID-19 pandemic because this population is at a high risk of complications from the coronavirus.