Opportunities for Quality Improvement in Bereavement Care at a Children's Hospital: Assessment of interdisciplinary staff perspectives
JOURNAL OF PALLIATIVE CARE
2012; 28 (1): 28-35
Food, toys, and love: pediatric palliative care.
Current problems in pediatric and adolescent health care
2005; 35 (9): 350-386
Single parents of children with chronic illness: An understudied phenomenon
JOURNAL OF PEDIATRIC PSYCHOLOGY
2008; 33 (4): 408-421
This study examined the current state of bereavement care at a university-based children's hospital from the perspective of the interdisciplinary staff. In all, 60 staff members from multiple disciplines participated in in-depth interviews. In at least two-thirds of the interviews, issues related to the bereavement experience of both staff and families emerged and were consistently identified. Themes included: disparities in bereavement care based on relationship factors; logistics of time and space; geographical distances; the different cultures and languages of families; continuity in family follow-up; needs of siblings and other family members; staff communication, cooperation, and care coordination; staff suffering; and education, mentoring, and support for staff. This evidence-based needs assessment furnishes an empirical basis for the design and implementation of bereavement services for both families and staff. It can serve as a template for evaluation at other children's hospitals and thus contribute to the sound and creative development of the field of pediatric palliative care.
View details for Web of Science ID 000302444100005
View details for PubMedID 22582469
Introduction of a Pediatric Palliative Care Curriculum for pediatric residents
JOURNAL OF PALLIATIVE MEDICINE
2008; 11 (2): 164-170
To examine the chronic illness literature and evaluate the impact on single parenting and children and adolescents with chronic illness.We conducted literature reviews of relevant research pertaining to single-parent families on PubMed, Medline, and PsychINFO and also surveyed pertinent book chapters and all of the articles from the Journal of Pediatric Psychology since 1987 for articles, specifically examining the potential associations of single (lone) parenting versus two-parent households on children's psychosocial functioning and the impact of the child's illness on caregiver functioning.While the literature has examined and discussed the stressors associated with parenting a child with an illness, including the impact of illness on finances, family roles, and caregiver burden, few studies have examined single parents of children and adolescents with chronic illnesses and related stressors stemming from being a lone caregiver.There is a dearth of studies examining the association between lone parenting and psychosocial functioning among children and adolescents with chronic illnesses. Specific questions necessitating future investigation are summarized and recommendations are made for future research in this important area of inquiry.
View details for DOI 10.1093/jpepsy/jsm079
View details for Web of Science ID 000254714100010
View details for PubMedID 17906331
Psychotherapy in pediatric palliative care
CHILD AND ADOLESCENT PSYCHIATRIC CLINICS OF NORTH AMERICA
2006; 15 (3): 585-?
The Pediatric Palliative Care Curriculum (PPCC) was introduced as a pilot study in response to the published need for increased pediatric education in end-of-life (EOL) care. The PPCC was designed to better train residents in EOL issues so they could become more comfortable and knowledgeable in caring for children and adolescents with life-threatening illnesses.The PPCC consisted of six hour-long sessions run by a clinical psychologist, a licensed social worker, and faculty with experience in EOL care. The curriculum repeated every 6 weeks for 1 year. Residents in the training program at Stanford University rotating through oncology, pulmonology, and pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) were invited to attend. Session topics included: (1) personal coping skills, (2) being a caring professional, (3) recognizing cultural and familial differences, (4) pain management, (5) practical issues, and (6) meeting a bereaved parent. Pretest and posttest surveys with five-point Likert scale questions were used to measure curricular impact.Statistically significant improvement was found in resident self-report of: feeling prepared to initiate do-not-resuscitate discussions (p = 0.001), access to nonpharmacologic pain resources (p = 0.005), exposure to role models who balance medical professionalism and expression of grief (p = 0.005), ability to address dying patient anxiety (p = 0.01), administer pain medications (p = 0.01), initiate organ donation discussions (p = 0.05), and discuss transition from curative to palliative care (p = 0.05). Survey ratings for the following topics were unchanged: "expression of grief is unprofessional" and "residency stress prohibits the processing of and coping with grief."Pediatric residents who participated in this pilot study felt they learned important skills in pediatric EOL care and enhanced their confidence in their ability to care for dying patients and their families. Interventions like the PPCC may be useful at other institutions and aid in the transition to competency-based training.
View details for DOI 10.1089/jpm.2007.0194
View details for Web of Science ID 000254651600010
View details for PubMedID 18333729
Hospital staff and family perspectives regarding quality of pediatric palliative care
2004; 114 (5): 1248-1252
Psychotherapy for children who have life-threatening illness is unique in its challenges and rich in its rewards. Most of these children enter into psychotherapy because of the stress engendered by the illness rather than more general intrapsychic or interpersonal concerns. The facilitation of psychological adjustment is a common goal and brought about by managing anxiety related to great un-certainty and anticipatory grief. Siblings and other family members are incorporated into the work as they play a pivotal role in sustaining and strengthening emotional resources. Critical losses.around control, personal identity, and interpersonal relationships are common themes throughout the therapeutic process.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.chc.2006.02.004
View details for Web of Science ID 000239131600005
View details for PubMedID 16797440
Family perspectives on the quality of pediatric palliative care
ARCHIVES OF PEDIATRICS & ADOLESCENT MEDICINE
2002; 156 (1): 14-19
Development of a pediatric palliative care program was preceded by a needs assessment that included a staff survey and family interviews regarding improving pediatric palliative care.Four hundred forty-six staff members and community physicians responded to a written survey regarding comfort and expertise in delivering end of life care. Sixty-eight family members of 44 deceased children were interviewed regarding treatment, transition to palliative care, and bereavement follow-up contact. Frequencies were generated for responses to the staff survey. Five interviewers reviewed the families' narratives and identified frequently occurring themes.Staff members reported feeling inexperienced in communicating with patients and families about end of life issues, transition to palliative care, and do not resuscitate status. Families reported distress caused by uncaring delivery of bad news and careless remarks made by staff members. Staff members reported feeling inexperienced in symptom and pain management and described occasions when pain could have been better managed. Families believed pain had been managed as well as possible despite observing their children suffer. Fifty-four percent of staff members reported that adequate support was not provided for those who treat dying children. Staff members and family members stated their desire for more support. Staff members who described their most difficult experiences caring for a dying child referenced personal pain and inadequate support most frequently.Albeit from different perspectives, staff members and family members shared common concerns and experiences regarding pediatric palliative care. These experiences emphasize the need for additional systematic study, improved education and support for staff members, and continued development of more effective and compassionate delivery of pediatric palliative care.
View details for DOI 10.1542/peds.2003-0857-L
View details for Web of Science ID 000224842700008
View details for PubMedID 15520103
As a prelude to establishing a Pediatric Palliative Care Program, we solicited information from families about their experiences and their suggestions for improving the quality of end-of-life care. Participants were English- and Spanish-speaking family members of deceased pediatric patients who received care at Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital, Stanford University Medical Center, Palo Alto, Calif.Sixty-eight family members of 44 deceased children were interviewed regarding treatment, transition to palliative care, and bereavement follow-up. Four clinical social workers and one clinical psychologist reviewed the participants' responses and identified frequently occurring themes.Several areas of unsatisfactory interactions with staff were identified: confusing, inadequate, or uncaring communications regarding treatment or prognosis; preventable oversights in procedures or policies; failure to include or meet the needs of siblings and Spanish-speaking family members; and inconsistent bereavement follow-up. A discrepancy emerged between the high degree of pain described by the families and parents' perceptions that pain had been managed well. Community hospice programs are frequently poorly prepared to serve pediatric patients.There is a need to improve pediatric palliative care. Recurring themes in the family interviews suggest useful issues to consider in the development of a palliative care program.
View details for Web of Science ID 000173079600005
View details for PubMedID 11772185