- Care given to improve the quality of life of people who have an illness or disease by preventing or treating, as early as possible, the symptoms of the disease and the side effects caused by treatment of the disease. Supportive care includes physical, psychological, social, and spiritual support for patients and their families. There are many types of supportive care. Examples include pain management, nutritional support, counseling, exercise, music therapy, meditation, and palliative care. Supportive care may be given with other treatments from the time of diagnosis until the end of life.