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[Paediatric palliative care (PPC) – a particular challenge : Tasks, aims and specifics]

Journal title
Bundesgesundheitsblatt, Gesundheitsforschung, Gesundheitsschutz
Publication year
Zernikow, B.; Gertz, B.; Hasan, C.

In Germany, there are about 50,000 children, adolescents and young adults with life threatening or life limiting conditions, who will likely die due to their illness before reaching the age of 40. In recent years prevalence has increased significantly.The aim of paediatric palliative care (PPC) is to optimize quality of life for the child, adolescent or young adult and its whole family. Whenever possible the patient should be treated at home.The very complex and rare diseases as well as the patients’ wide range of age and developmental stage are particularly challenging within PPC. Many PPC patients have cognitive disabilities and are not able to communicate verbally. In contrast to adult palliative care, PPC is often delivered for many years.To date, families with a child suffering from a life limiting condition have access to several care systems; however most of them are still financed by donations. One of PPC’s most important tasks is the implementation of individual case management to find the right mix of care provision, its flexible adaption on changing needs and the appropriate intensity of care.Specific education and training courses in the field of PPC are still rare. There is a single chair for childrens’ pain therapy and paediatric palliative care at Witten/Herdecke University in Germany. In addition, quality-checked multiprofessional PPC courses for the additional "palliative health care professional" designation based on the Dattelner Curriculum are offered at several institutions.

Research abstracts