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Knowledge, Beliefs, and Behaviors Related to Palliative Care Delivery Among Pediatric Oncology Health Care Providers

Journal title
Journal of pediatric oncology nursing : official journal of the Association of Pediatric Oncology Nurses
Publication year
Spruit, J. L.; Bell, C. J.; Toly, V. B.; Prince-Paul, M.

The care of pediatric patients with cancer and their families is complex and rapidly evolving. Despite significant advances in outcomes, symptoms of the disease and complications of therapy continue to cause suffering that may improve with the involvement of pediatric palliative care (PPC) services. This descriptive study responds to the observation of great variability in PPC utilization within pediatric oncology. Data collected from 156 health care professionals (nurses, advanced practice professionals, and physicians) from a statewide hematology alliance evaluates the knowledge, beliefs, and perceived barriers to PPC involvement. Data analysis reveals significant variability when comparing respondents from professional roles and practice environments. Despite progress in PPC availability, care delivery remains incongruent with current recommendations. Knowledge gained from this study emphasizes the important role for all health care providers in advocating for support of PPC programs, educating the public, and committing to intentional involvement of PPC services while caring for pediatric oncology patients.

Research abstracts