Together for Short Lives
Call the Helpline 0808 8088 100

Depression and anxiety in children at the end of life

Publication year
2007
Author(s)
Kersun, L. S.; Shemesh, E.
Pages
691-708, xi
Volume
54
Number
5

A significant component of palliative care is the prompt diagnosis and management of distress, anxiety, and depression. This article reviews the symptoms and treatment of anxiety and depressive disorders in children at the end of life. Distinguishing between symptoms and disorders, the importance of open communication, consideration of the child’s understanding of death, diagnostic challenges in chronically ill children, and suicidality are discussed. Because treatment options are available, it is imperative that symptoms are recognized and addressed. Understanding the issues involved in screening and diagnosis and the risks and benefits of available treatments can lead to an informed approach to the management of these disorders in the palliative care setting.

Research abstracts