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Developing an educational programme in paediatric palliative care

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Price, J.; McNeilly, P.

Paediatric palliative care has increasingly been recognised as a specialist area of practice. Essentially it is a holistic approach to care that embraces a range of elements concerned with not only the management of symptoms but also the psychosocial and spiritual needs of the child and family through death and bereavement. Children requiring palliative care represent a diverse patient group whose illness trajectories are often prolonged and unpredictable and this creates much stress for children themselves, their families and professionals who support them (Price and McFarlane, 2006). Such an approach to care is unique and the development of paediatric palliative care educational programmes requires careful and thorough planning, with the specific needs of the child and family being pivotal to the process. This article recounts the development of the first paediatric palliative care programme in Ireland using the curricular cycle described by Peyton (1998).

Research abstracts