The roles of preparation, location, and palliative care involvement in parent-perceived child suffering at the end of life

Title

The roles of preparation, location, and palliative care involvement in parent-perceived child suffering at the end of life

Creator

Broden EG; Mazzola E; DeCourcey DD; Blume ED; Wolfe J; Snaman JM

Publisher

Journal of Pediatric Nursing

Date

2023

Subject

Parents; Palliative Care; End-of-life care; Palliative care; cancer; Complex chronic conditions; Cardiac disease

Description

Purpose Parents' perceptions of their child's suffering affect their bereavement experience. Identifying factors that shape parental perceptions of suffering could help build effective supportive interventions for children and parents navigating EOL and grief. We aimed to compare parent-perceived child suffering between diagnostic groups and identify related factors. Design and methods We combined databases from 3 surveys of parents whose children who died following cancer, a complex chronic condition (CCC), or advanced heart disease. We built multivariable logistic regression models to identify relationships between parent-perceived child suffering and parent/child, illness experience, and care-related factors. Results Among 277 parents, 41% rated their child's suffering as moderate or high. Fifty-seven percent of parents whose child died from cancer reported that their child suffered “a lot” or “a great deal” at EOL, compared to 33% whose child died from a CCC, and 17% whose child died from heart disease (P < 0.001). Preparation for EOL symptoms was associated with decreased parent-perceived child suffering in multivariable modeling, with parents who were prepared for EOL 68% less likely to rate their child's suffering as high compared to those who felt unprepared (AOR: 0.32, CI [0.13–0.77], P = 0.013). Conclusions Preparing families for their child's EOL may help mitigate lingering perceptions of suffering. Operationalizing preparation is crucial to optimizing family support during EOL care. Implications to practice Preparation for symptoms, and access to resources, including medical/psychosocial interventions and staff, may help ease parental perception of EOL suffering. Clinicians should prioritize preparing families for what to expect during a child's dying process.

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

August List 2023

Collection

Citation

Broden EG; Mazzola E; DeCourcey DD; Blume ED; Wolfe J; Snaman JM, “The roles of preparation, location, and palliative care involvement in parent-perceived child suffering at the end of life,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed May 21, 2024, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/19216.