Module E: Patient Goals & Expectations

CE Credits: 1.5

This module explores the idea that it is not unusual for the goals and treatment expectations of patients and families to be overly optimistic. Transdisciplinary palliative care teams help patients and family members to identify realistic goals of care and select treatment options that meet those goals.

A relationship between health care providers and patients that is based on trust, respect and reciprocity, and which incorporates mutually negotiated goals and expectations, can be an important support and buffer for patients with chronic, life-threatening conditions.

Learning objectives: After completing this module the case manager will be able to:
» Describe steps to gain alignment between treatment goals and realistic expectations
» Review ethical and legal considerations
» Explore the anticipated course of the illness and treatment options
» Discuss areas requiring support including physical, psychological, spiritual and socia

Advance your professional practice:: As case managers, we need to understand that the term “false hope” is used in cases in which a patient’s treatment goals are so unrealistic that embracing those goals results in suffering for both the patient and family.


Improve organizational performance: Experience in palliative medicine has taught us that hope is durable and often thrives even in the face of imminent death. Palliative medicine encourages a deeper form of hope using therapeutic strategies such as setting concrete, achievable goals for the patient and helping the patient make practical preparations for imminent death.