Mass General researcher finds that earlier palliative care improves patient quality of life in serious illnesses

Jennifer Temel, MD

Mass General clinician-researcher Jennifer Temel, MD, a Hostetter MGH Research Scholar, is studying the effects of palliative care on quality of life for patients with serious illnesses. She was recently profiled in an article on the Mass General Giving website.

Here are five things to know:

  • Palliative care is treatment that is designed to provide relief from the symptoms and stress caused by serious illnesses such as cancer, dementia, Parkinson’s disease and heart failure
  • Dr. Temel, director of the Cancer Outcomes Research Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, has been investigating the effects of providing palliative care to patients earlier on in the disease process
  • Her research has found that lung cancer patients have a better quality of life when earlier palliative care is involved, including lower rates of depression and better communication with their care providers
  • With funding from her MGH Research Scholar Award ($100,000 per year for five years), Dr. Temel is investigating the effectiveness of palliative care treatment for patients who have just been diagnosed with leukemia
  • She is also collaborating with Mass General’s Healthcare Transformation Laboratory to develop a mobile app designed to help newly diagnosed leukemia patients learn about their condition and treatment

Learn more:


About the Mass General Research Institute
Massachusetts General Hospital is home to the largest hospital-based research program in the United States. Research at Mass General takes place in over 30 departments, centers and institutes and is supported by federal and state funding, foundations, industry partners and philanthropic donations. 

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