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The Role of Psychology in Pediatric Palliative Care

Journal title
Journal of palliative medicine
Publication year
Edlynn, E.; Kaur, H.

Pediatric medicine increasingly has recognized the value of integrating behavioral health in medical care, but this trend has not yet extended to pediatric palliative care. Results from a recent survey of pediatric palliative care programs across the United States indicate that team composition almost never included a psychologist. This article presents a model of collaborative care to optimize the integration of psychosocial and medical aspects of treatment in pediatric palliative care, delineating how a psychologist adds to this model. This article argues that psychology brings specialized skills in assessment, intervention, and research that fit with the premise of palliative care as a holistic approach that relieves symptoms. Systematic inclusion of psychologists on pediatric palliative care teams may help to improve effectiveness of services as well as extend the knowledge base of mental health in pediatric palliative care.

Research abstracts