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Palliative Care for Children with Cancer in the Middle East: A Comparative Study

Journal title
Indian journal of palliative care
Publication year
Mojen, L. K.; Rassouli, M.; Eshghi, P.; Sari, A. A.; Karimooi, M. H.

Introduction: High incidence rates of childhood cancer and the consequent deaths in the Middle East is one of the major reasons for the need for palliative care in these countries. Using the experiences and innovations of the other countries can provide a pattern for the countries of the region and lead to the development of palliative care in children. Therefore, the aim of this study is to compare the status of pediatric palliative care in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, and Iran. Materials and Methods: This is a comparative study in which the information related to pediatric palliative care system in the target countries (from 2000 to 2016) has been collected, summarized, and classified by searching in databases, such as "PubMed, Scopus, Google scholar, Ovid, and science direct." Results: Palliative care in children in the Middle East is still in its early stages and there are many obstacles to its development, namely, lack of professional knowledge, inadequate support of policy-makers, and lack of access to opioids and financial resources. Despite these challenges, providing services at the community level, support of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), using trained specialists and multi-disciplinary approach is an opportunity in some countries. Conclusion: Considering the necessity of the development of pediatric palliative care in the region, solutions such as training the human resources, integrating palliative care programs into the curriculum of the related fields, establishing facilitating policies in prescription and accessibility of opioids, providing the necessary support by policy-makers, doing research on assessment of palliative care quality, as well as NGOs’ participation and public education are suggested.

Research abstracts