Facilitators and barriers to the delivery of palliative care to children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions: a qualitative study of the experiences and perceptions of healthcare professionals

Title

Facilitators and barriers to the delivery of palliative care to children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions: a qualitative study of the experiences and perceptions of healthcare professionals

Creator

Mitchell S; Slowther AM; Coad J; Bertaud S; Dale J

Publisher

Archives of Disease in Childhood

Date

2021

Subject

child; health services research; palliative care; qualitative research

Description

OBJECTIVE: To understand healthcare system facilitators and barriers to the delivery of palliative care for children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions and their family members. DESIGN: Focus groups with children's palliative care professionals. Data were analysed using thematic analysis. SETTING: Four regions of England (West Midlands, South West, Yorkshire and Humber, and London) from December 2017 to June 2018. PARTICIPANTS: Healthcare professionals (doctors, nurses and allied healthcare professionals) working in children's palliative care services. FINDINGS: A total of 71 healthcare professionals participated in the focus groups. Three overarching themes were identified which influenced whether and when children were referred to and started to receive palliative care: (1) the unspoken background of clinical uncertainty which often delayed palliative care; (2) the cultural 'collusion of immortality', where conversations about the possibility of dying can be avoided or deferred; and (3) the role of paediatric palliative care teams in 'illuminating the blind spot' of palliative care as well as providing hands-on care. CONCLUSIONS: Palliative care is a holistic approach to care that focuses on quality of life for people living with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions that can be delivered alongside active treatment. There is a need to prioritise and integrate this into healthcare services for children more effectively if improvements in care are to be realised. While more specialist paediatric palliative care services are needed, the unspoken background of clinical uncertainty needs to be addressed together with the collusion of immortality within healthcare culture and organisations.

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

July 2021 List

Collection

Citation

Mitchell S; Slowther AM; Coad J; Bertaud S; Dale J, “Facilitators and barriers to the delivery of palliative care to children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions: a qualitative study of the experiences and perceptions of healthcare professionals,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed May 19, 2022, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/17598.

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