Life-Limiting Conditions at a University Pediatric Tertiary Care Center: A Cross-Sectional Study

Title

Life-Limiting Conditions at a University Pediatric Tertiary Care Center: A Cross-Sectional Study

Creator

Bosch A; Wager J; Zernikow B; Thalemann R; Frenzel H; Krude H; Reindl T

Publisher

Journal Of Palliative Medicine

Date

2018

Subject

Chronic disease; end-of-life care; Hospitals; Life-limiting conditions; Palliative Care; Pediatrics

Description

BACKGROUND: The increasing number of children with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions requires an individualized approach and additional supportive care in hospitals. However, these patients' characteristics and their prevalence in a pediatric tertiary hospital setting have not been systematically analyzed. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to determine the proportion of hospitalized children who are receiving care for life-threatening diseases with feasible curative treatments and for life-limiting diseases (LLDs) with inevitable premature death as opposed to care for acute or chronic diseases; additionally, it sought to compare patient characteristics, clinical features, and symptoms within these subgroups. DESIGN/SETTING/SUBJECTS: A cross-sectional survey of 208 patients was conducted at a large tertiary pediatric care center through standardized interviews with the responsible medical teams. Patient subgroups were defined as those with acute, chronic, life-threatening, or LLDs. RESULTS: The comparisons of patient subgroups showed distinct differences and revealed that nearly half of all inpatients suffer from life-threatening (20%) or LLDs (27%), with a high proportion of rare diseases (82%). They experienced a high burden of symptoms in all parameters of clinical features, including high demand for medications and nursing care. CONCLUSION: A substantial proportion of pediatric inpatients suffered from life-threatening or LLDs, as well as rare diseases, indicating a high burden of symptoms and a high need for additional care. The results suggest a substantial need to implement pediatric palliative care structures in tertiary care centers for patients in critical and terminal conditions.

Rights

Article information provided for research and reference use only. PedPalASCNET does not hold any rights over the resource listed here. All rights are retained by the journal listed under publisher and/or the creator(s).

Citation List Month

January 2018 List

Collection

Citation

Bosch A; Wager J; Zernikow B; Thalemann R; Frenzel H; Krude H; Reindl T, “Life-Limiting Conditions at a University Pediatric Tertiary Care Center: A Cross-Sectional Study,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed October 24, 2021, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/11240.

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