Together for Short Lives
Call the Helpline 0808 8088 100

Symptom care flowcharts: a case study

Publication year
Willis, E.

Parents who have a child with a life-limiting condition face the painful prospect of seeing their child’s health deteriorate and of becoming involved on a practical level with increasingly complex care. An example of a child with a rare genetic disorder requiring palliative care is used to illustrate how one aspect of the support needs of parents can be met through the use of therapeutic flow charts. The case study shows how a symptom management flowchart was developed to help one family feel more confident in caring for their dying child. It enabled them to focus less on the illness and more on spending quality time as a family. The development of symptom care flowcharts enabled the professional team and parents to think through problems before they arose and to make joint decisions. They boosted the confidence of family and carers by providing them with clear information and advice. Flowcharts of this kind can help support parents and carers in ongoing situations where multiple carers are involved and the child’s care needs change over time.

Research abstracts