Despite advances in the treatment of childhood cancer, it is still one of the leading causes of death in childhood and adolescence. Access to specialist paediatric palliative care is therefore argued to be an important component of children and young people’s cancer services, but there is uncertainty about their role for children with cancer. This mixed-methods systematic review examined the impact of specialist palliative care for children and young people with cancer and explored factors affecting access. Evidence from 42 studies tells us that children who access specialist palliative care have less intensive care at the end-of-life, more advance care planning, and fewer hospital deaths. However, there is no robust evidence about effects on quality of life or symptom management. Uncertainty about the added value of specialist paediatric palliative care is a key barrier to referral, as are uncertainties about when to introduce palliative care to families and the emotions involved. Children with blood cancers are the least likely to receive specialist input and future research should explore the reasons for this. Further research is also needed to ascertain children's views about specialist palliative care involvement, and to determine whether specialist input improves their quality of life.
Paper published in May 2020, this mixed methods systematic review examined the impact of specialist paediatric palliative care for children and young people with cancer and explored the factors affecting access.
Specialist paediatric palliative care for children and young people with cancer: A mixed-methods systematic review - Johanna Taylor, Alison Booth, Bryony Beresford, Bob Philips, Kath Wright, Lorna Fraser. Palliative Medicine, 2 May 2020.
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|Start Date:||June 2017|
|End Date:||March 2018 - COMPLETED|