• advance directives;
  • Duchenne muscular dystrophy;
  • health services model;
  • healthcare barriers;
  • palliative care


Introduction: Palliative care services that address physical pain and emotional, psychosocial, and spiritual needs may benefit individuals with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Methods: The objective of this study was to describe the palliative care services that families of males with DMD report they receive. A questionnaire was administered to families of males with DMD born prior to January 1, 1982. Thirty-four families responded. Results: Most families (85%) had never heard the term palliative care. Only attendant care and skilled nursing services showed much usage, with 44% and 50% indicating receipt of these services, respectively. Receipt of other services was reported less frequently: pastoral care (27%); respite care (18%); pain management (12%); and hospice care (6%). Only 8 respondents (25%) reported having any type of directive document in place. Conclusion: The data suggest a need for improved awareness of palliative care and related services among families of young men with DMD. Muscle Nerve 44: 93–101, 2011