The proportion of patients with ESLD who will be managed without liver transplantation will increase in the near future, largely as a result of the increasing age of the population. Patients with ESLD are subject to many physical and psychosocial symptoms that negatively affect health-related quality of life. Sleep quality should be maximized by controlling pruritus and leg cramps. Many frequently used therapies are not supported by a strong evidence base. Advance directives should be addressed with all patients with ESLD, preferably in the outpatient setting before an acute deterioration. Medicare provides a hospice benefit for patients with ESLD, and referral to a hospice is appropriate for patients with an expected survival of 6 months or less.
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