Duke palliative care experts help you experience relief from the pain, symptoms, and stress of serious illness. No matter your age or stage of illness, we work closely with you and your doctors to help you navigate your care and understand your treatment options. Our goals are to help you gain physical, emotional, and psychological strength, and to ensure you and your family experience the best possible quality of life.

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Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.

A Team Approach to Palliative Care

The debilitating effects of serious illness are often magnified by physical, mental, and spiritual pain and suffering. As palliative care experts, we partner with you, your family, and your medical team to help you find relief. 

Our team includes doctors who are subspecialists in palliative medicine. They work alongside nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, social workers, and chaplains who are also trained in palliative care. We work as a team with patients of all ages and at all stages of serious illnesses.

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Inpatient and Outpatient Services

Inpatient Care
Our inpatient team members see you in the hospital and can help to navigate the transition from the hospital to home. We will partner with your primary and subspecialty medical teams to help support you while you remain hospitalized.

Outpatient Care
Our outpatient team can see you in the clinic to continue to support your quality of life, help to relieve symptoms, coordinate communications between your care teams, and help you make decisions that may arise about your care.

Palliative Care vs. Hospice Care

Palliative care is different from hospice care because we start working with you at the time of your diagnosis, not toward the end of treatment. We provide support every step of the way. We help you navigate the health care system, provide guidance in the complex treatment choices you face, and help you better communicate with your physicians and your family. 

Research shows that palliative care significantly improves quality of life and may even prolong life.

Compassionate, Comprehensive Palliative Care

Providing relief and preventing your suffering are our main goals. That is true whether you are pushing through a vigorous curative treatment, or require end-of-life care. We focus on helping you feel better regardless of your prognosis through assessment and treatment of your symptoms.

Inpatient and Outpatient Services
Whether you are in the hospital, or being seen as an outpatient, our services are available to you and accessible throughout the Duke University Health System. We also work closely with Duke HomeCare & Hospice to arrange for post-hospital care at other facilities.

We Help You Define Your Goals
We work with you to help you understand your treatment, make decisions, and clarify your goals and values. We help you communicate your desires and wishes to your family and your medical team.

Leader in Palliative Care Research
We are a coordinating center for studies and clinical trials that seek to better understand the impact of living with a serious illness and the role palliative care can play. Our research has identified better ways to manage symptoms and to improve communication between physicians, patients, and their families. 

You may be eligible to participate in these studies, which will give you access to new therapies for treating symptoms, ways to manage the stress of illness, and novel communication approaches.

Consistently Ranked Among the Nation’s Best Hospitals

Duke University Hospital is proud of our team and the exceptional care they provide. They are why we are once again recognized as the best hospital in North Carolina, and nationally ranked in 11 adult and 9 pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report for 2023–2024.

This page was medically reviewed on 06/15/2023 by