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Authors

  1. LUGO, MARILYN ACRN, MSN
  2. HAMILTON, TASHA RN, MSN

Abstract

Approximately 53,000 children die each year in the United States and more than 400,000 are living with life-threatening or life-limiting illnesses. Many providers lack the education and resources needed to provide safe, quality pediatric palliative care. Optimally, services should be provided by an interdisciplinary team that would support the medical, psychosocial, spiritual, educational, and emotional needs of families and children with life-limiting illnesses. Below are summaries of 4 published research articles related to pediatric palliative care that describe some of the ongoing barriers in this area and innovative programs working toward reaching more people in need of these services. The 1st article addresses the important role nurses can play by facilitating palliative care communication and supporting the shift to early palliative care. The 2nd research study profiled in this article explores barriers to palliative care experienced by healthcare providers. The 3rd article identifies 4 countries with innovative pediatric palliative care programs and strategies these programs used to overcome some of the challenges they encountered. The 4th article features a successful state-funded pediatric palliative program in Massachusetts. Readers are encouraged to read the full articles to learn more about the studies and the palliative care programs briefly described here.