Palliative Care Needs Assessment for Pediatric Complex Care Providers


Palliative Care Needs Assessment for Pediatric Complex Care Providers


DiDomizio PG; Millar Morgan M; Olson L; Murphy N; Moore D


Journal of Pain and Symptom Management




Children with Medical Complexity; Pediatric complex care; Pediatric Palliative Care (PPC)


Context Children with medical complexity (CMC) are often cared for by both complex care and palliative care pediatric teams. No prior research has investigated the relationship between these two disciplines. Objectives The purpose of this article is to investigate challenges that complex care programs face in caring for children with medical complexity (CMC), as well as to explore whether identified challenges could be met through collaboration with pediatric palliative care or additional training for complex care teams. Methods Medical providers who self-identified as providing clinical care to children with medical complexity were asked to complete an online anonymous survey. Subjects were recruited through a Complex Care listerv. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Results 85 subjects completed the survey, of whom 87.1% (n=74) were physicians, and 12.0% (n=11) were nurse practitioners. Subjects reported several challenges in caring for CMC, including symptom management, establishing goals of care, advance care planning, and coordination of care. A majority of subjects reported benefitting from palliative care consultative assistance in each subject area. Most subjects described their relationship with palliative care as a close partnership with frequent overlap. Conclusions The evolving field of pediatric complex care is associated with an array of challenges in caring for CMC. Many of these challenges include competency areas where palliative care providers receive concerted training. Our research suggests greater palliative care involvement in the CMC population can benefit complex care teams and patients, given the expertise palliative providers can bring to the population and the discipline of complex care.


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Citation List Month

January List 2023



DiDomizio PG; Millar Morgan M; Olson L; Murphy N; Moore D, “Palliative Care Needs Assessment for Pediatric Complex Care Providers,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed June 6, 2023,