cardiac disease, hospice care, latent class analyses, pediatrics



  1. Lindley, Lisa C. PhD, RN, FPCN, FAAN
  2. Svynarenko, Radion PhD
  3. Mooney-Doyle, Kim PhD, RN, CPNP-AC
  4. Mendola, Annette PhD, HEC-C
  5. Naumann, Wendy C. PhD
  6. Harris, Robin PhD, ANP-BC, ACNS-BC


Background: Heart diseases are one of the leading causes of health-related deaths among children. Concurrent hospice care offers hospice and nonhospice healthcare services simultaneously, but the use of these services by children with cardiac disease has been rarely investigated.


Objective: The aims of this study were to identify patterns of nonhospice healthcare services used in concurrent hospice care and describe the profile of children with cardiac disease in these clusters.


Methods: This study was a retrospective cohort analysis of Medicaid claims data collected between 2011 and 2013 from 1635 pediatric cardiac patients. The analysis included descriptive statistics and latent class analysis.


Results: Children in the sample used more than 314 000 nonhospice healthcare services. The most common services were inpatient hospital procedures, durable medical equipment, and home health. Latent class analysis clustered children into "moderate intensity" (60.0%) and "high intensity" classes (40.0%). Children in "moderate intensity" had dysrhythmias (31.7%), comorbidities (85.0%), mental/behavioral health conditions (55%), and technology dependence (71%). They commonly resided in urban areas (60.1%) in the Northeast (44.4%). The health profile of children in the "high intensity" class included dysrhythmias (39.4%), comorbidities (97.6%), mental/behavioral health conditions (71.5%), and technology dependence (85.8%). These children resided in rural communities (50.7%) in the South (53.1%).


Conclusions: Two patterns of use of nonhospice healthcare services were identified in this study. This information may be used by nurses and other healthcare professionals working in concurrent hospice care to assess the healthcare service needs of children with cardiac conditions at the end of life.