Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



Second Department


First Advisor

Carol Weisse

Second Advisor

Brian Cohen




patients, satisfaction, pain, time, symptoms


Background: There is a growing need for home-based palliative care services, especially for seriously ill individuals who want to avoid unnecessary hospitalizations and remain with their regular outside care providers. Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of Care Choices, a new in-home palliative care program provided by the Visiting Nurse Services of Northeastern New York and Ellis Medicine, a community healthcare system serving New York’s Capital District. Design: A prospective cohort study tracking patient outcomes over the course of one year. Subjects and setting: One hundred twenty-three patients (49 men, 74 women) with serious illnesses who were new enrollees in Care Choices Measurements: Patient satisfaction, symptom management, and hospital utilization were used to measure effectiveness. Phone interviews were conducted assessing satisfaction after one month of care and again around three months later. Quality of life was assessed at baseline and after 1 month on service. The number of emergency room visits and in-patient hospitalizations was recorded pre- and post-enrollment. Results: Patients were highly satisfied with their initial care and reported greater satisfaction and stable symptom management over time. Fewer emergency room and inpatient hospital admissions occurred while enrolled in the program. Conclusion: An in-home palliative care program offered jointly through a visiting nurse service and community hospital may be a successful model for providing quality care that satisfies chronically ill patients’ desire to remain at home, avoid hospital admissions, and retain the option of outside care while on the program.