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Palliative Care: Research and Treatment

Health care Professionals’ Experiences and Needs When Delivering End-of-Life Care to Children: A Qualitative Study

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Palliative Care: Research and Treatment 2017:10 1178224217724770

Original Research

Published on 10 Aug 2017

DOI: 10.1177/1178224217724770


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Abstract

Pediatric end-of-life care (EOL care) entails challenging tasks for health care professionals (HCPs). Little is known about HCPs’ experiences and needs when providing pediatric EOL care in Switzerland. This study aimed to describe the experiences and needs of HCPs in pediatric EOL care in Switzerland and to develop recommendations for the health ministry. The key aspect in EOL care provision was identified as the capacity to establish a relationship with the dying child and the family. Barriers to this interaction were ethical dilemmas, problems in collaboration with the interprofessional team, and structural problems on the level of organizations. A major need was the expansion of vocational training and support by specialized palliative care teams. We recommend the development of a national concept for the provision of EOL care in children, accompanied by training programs and supported by specialized pediatric palliative care teams located in tertiary children’s hospitals.



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