Care Goals and Decisions

Care Goals and Decisions for Children Referred to a Pediatric Palliative Care Program

Published data regarding specific patient goals of care in palliative medicine are beginning to accrue. However, very little has been published regarding the specific goals of care for children with complex and life-limiting conditions.

This article published in the ‘Journal of Palliative Medicine’ report the outcomes of a recent study with the objective of describing the goals of care for children with complex, life-limiting conditions elicited at the time of the initial palliative care consult and to assess the variables that may influence these goals.


Palliative Care Half-Day Course - An Evaluation

Does a Half-Day Course about PC Matter - A Quantitative and Qualitative Evaluation among Health Care Practitioners?

The ‘Journal of Palliative Medicine’ recently published results of a study that examines the efficacy of a very brief, half day training course on palliative care for healthcare professionals. Researchers offered a short, three hour ‘general palliative care course’ to multidisciplinary staff members in nursing homes, primary care, home care and hospitals. Class sizes were kept to 25 students to encourage dialogue and interaction and the curriculum consisted of lecture and group discussion of case studies.

Curriculum content included palliative care philosophy and definitions, political/policy objective of palliative care, turning ethical principles in to practice and patients’ perspective and needs. The course was evaluated using both questionnaires and focus groups to explore the participant perceptions of the usefulness and importance of the course in their daily work. Questionnaires were given immediately after the course and again after 3-months. Focus groups were conducted before the course and again after 3-months and 6-months.


Pain Assessment as a Social Transaction

Empirical Review Supporting the Application of the ‘Pain Assessment as a Social Transaction’ Model in Pediatrics

This article, published in the ‘Journal of Pain and Symptom Management’ examines the empirical evidence from the recent pediatric pain assessment and decision-making literature that supports adaptation of the ‘Pain Assessment as a Social Transaction’ model in explaining pediatric acute pain management decisions.

Despite decades of research, national mandates, and widespread implementation of guidelines, recent reports suggest that the quality of pain assessment and management in hospitalized children remains suboptimal. The mismatch between what is advocated and what is done in practice has led experts to argue for a conceptual shift in thinking, where the pain assessment process is viewed from a complex social communication or transaction framework.