Barriers to palliative care for children: Perceptions of pediatric health care providers

Title

Barriers to palliative care for children: Perceptions of pediatric health care providers

Creator

Davies B; Sehring SA; Partridge JC; Cooper BA; Hughes A; Philp JC; Amidi-Nouri A; Kramer RF

Publisher

Pediatrics

Date

2008

Subject

Longitudinal Studies

Description

OBJECTIVE. The goal was to explore barriers to palliative care experienced by pediatric health care providers caring for seriously ill children. METHODS. This study explored pediatric provider perceptions of end-of-life care in an academic children's hospital, with the goal of describing perceived barriers to end-of-life care for children and their families. The report focuses on the responses of nurses (n = 117) and physicians (n = 81). RESULTS. Approximately one half of the respondents reported 4 of 26 barriers listed in the study questionnaire as frequently or almost always occurring, that is, uncertain prognosis (55%), family not ready to acknowledge incurable condition (51%), language barriers (47%), and time constraints (47%). Approximately one third of respondents cited another 8 barriers frequently arising from problems with communication and from insufficient education in pain and palliative care. Fourteen barriers were perceived by >75% of staff members as occasionally or never interfering with pediatric end-of-life care. Comparisons between physicians and nurses and between ICU and non-ICU staff members revealed several significant differences between these groups. CONCLUSIONS. Perceived barriers to pediatric end-of-life care differed from those impeding adult end-of-life care. The most-commonly perceived factors that interfered with optimal pediatric end-of-life care involved uncertainties in prognosis and discrepancies in treatment goals between staff members and family members, followed by barriers to communication. Improved staff education in communication skills and palliative care for children may help overcome some of these obstacles, but pediatric providers must realize that uncertainty may be unavoidable and inherent in the care of seriously ill children. An uncertain prognosis should be a signal to initiate, rather than to delay, palliative care.
2008

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).

Type

Journal Article

Citation List Month

Backlog

Pages

282-288

Issue

2

Volume

121

Citation

Davies B; Sehring SA; Partridge JC; Cooper BA; Hughes A; Philp JC; Amidi-Nouri A; Kramer RF, “Barriers to palliative care for children: Perceptions of pediatric health care providers,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed October 28, 2021, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/13983.

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