The Role Of The Emergency Department In Pediatric Palliative Care


The Role Of The Emergency Department In Pediatric Palliative Care


Anne-Josée Côté; Nathalie Gaucher; Antoine Payot




Journal Of Pain And Symptom Management




Objective: To explore pediatric emergency medicine
healthcare providers’ perspectives regarding their
role in pediatric palliative care.
Methodology: A qualitative study was conducted at the
CHU Sainte-Justine from January to April 2016. Four
interdisciplinary semi-structured focus groups were
held: three involved pediatric emergency medicine
staff and one interviewed the pediatrics palliative
care team. These focus groups were transcribed and
analysed in full using NVivo v. 21 (QSR International
Inc.) to identify nodes and codes, and facilitate the
emergence of themes. Data analysis borrows concepts
from grounded theory by using thematic analysis and
theoretical sampling.
Results: A first group involving 8 pediatric emergency
medicine staff members raised several limitations to
providing pediatric palliative care in the emergency
department (ED). These limitations included the unsuitable
physical environment, constrained time and
resources, lack of knowledge about the patient and
his underlying medical condition, difficulties communicating,
with both the patient’s primary physicians
and the patient’s parents, and deficient training. ED
staff suggested their role included evaluating the
clinical situation, listening to the patient and his family,
trying to establish a trusting relationship, supporting
the patient and his family, and organising a rapid
admission to the ward. Disagreements were encountered
about two different approaches in palliative
care. Some healthcare providers believed a designated
and specialised team should manage all patients in pediatric
palliative care. Others suggested a transversal
approach, in which all healthcare providers have a
role to play in the care of pediatric palliative care
Conclusion: Several limitations and barriers have been
identified to providing high quality pediatric palliative
care in a pediatric ED. The ED’s role in caring for
these patients remains controversial, and demonstrates
two distinct philosophies for providing pediatric
palliative care.


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Citation List Month

December 2016 List


Anne-Josée Côté; Nathalie Gaucher; Antoine Payot, “The Role Of The Emergency Department In Pediatric Palliative Care,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed January 29, 2023,

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