Communication about prognosis and end-of-life in pediatric organ failure and transplantation

Title

Communication about prognosis and end-of-life in pediatric organ failure and transplantation

Creator

Cousino MK; Schumacher KR; Magee J C; Wolfe J; Yu S; Eder SJ; Fredericks EM

Identifier

Publisher

Pediatric Transplantation

Date

2019

Subject

advance care planning; pediatric; communication; end-of-life; solid organ transplant

Description

BACKGROUND: Despite advancements in treatment and survival, pediatric organ failure and transplant populations continue to face significant risks of morbidity and mortality. Little scientific attention has been given to addressing the end-of-life care needs of this growing population of young people. This study characterized current practices, beliefs, and challenges specific to the disclosure of prognosis and end-of-life care topics among providers caring for pediatric organ failure and transplant populations. METHODS: This cross-sectional study included 144 healthcare providers actively caring for children, adolescents, and young adults with organ failure or solid organ transplant history. Participants completed an electronic survey measuring frequency and comfort in discussing the following topics with patients and parents: prognosis/survival statistics, re-transplantation, advance care planning (ACP), and death/dying. Descriptive statistics, two-sample t tests, and analysis of variance were used. RESULTS: Fewer than half of respondents regularly discuss prognosis/survival statistics and potential need for re-transplantation with their pediatric and young adult patients. Less than 20% of providers engage their pediatric patients in ACP discussions, and approximately 30% facilitate such discussions with young adult patients. Pediatric organ failure and transplant providers endorse a number of barriers specific to discussing these topics. CONCLUSION: Pediatric organ failure and transplant providers do not regularly discuss prognosis or end-of-life care topics with this patient population. Communication-focused intervention research is needed to improve honest and compassionate discussion of these topics that is aligned with both patients' and parents' needs and preferences.

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

April 2019 List

Collection

Citation

Cousino MK; Schumacher KR; Magee J C; Wolfe J; Yu S; Eder SJ; Fredericks EM, “Communication about prognosis and end-of-life in pediatric organ failure and transplantation,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed July 25, 2021, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/16118.

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