Palliative Care in the Rural U.S.


Palliative care aims to increase comfort and quality of life for patients with serious illness while reducing healthcare costs. As the U.S. population ages, demand for palliative care services is growing. Resources to meet growing demand for palliative care remain insufficient, particularly in rural areas. Only 17 percent of rural hospitals with 50 beds or more have palliative care programs. No comprehensive national information exists on the prevalence of palliative care services in smaller rural hospitals, and innovative rural models for providing this care in low resource environments have not been fully described.

This study seeks to describe the availability of palliative in rural versus urban hospitals and document emerging palliative care solutions for rural communities. This study will describe the availability of palliative care services in rural hospitals and community settings using data from the American Hospital Association (AHA), interviews with palliative care providers from small rural hospitals that provide palliative care services, and a survey of rural hospitals without palliative care services. Study findings can help inform policy initiatives to ensure that rural populations have access to palliative care.


Davis Patterson, PhD







In Progress