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"There's Just No Way to Help, and They Did." Parents Name Compassionate Care as a New Domain of Quality in Pediatric Home-Based Hospice and Palliative Care

Journal title
Journal of palliative medicine
Publication year
Thienprayoon, R.; Grossoehme, D.; Humphrey, L.; Pestian, T.; Frimpong-Manso, M.; Malcolm, H.; Kitamura, E.; Jenkins, R.; Friebert, S.

Background: To design high-quality home-based hospice and palliative care (HBHPC) systems, it is imperative to understand the perspectives of parents whose children enroll in HBHPC programs. Objective: The goal of this project was to identify and define parent/caregiver-prioritized domains of family-centered care in HBHPC by performing semistructured interviews of parents/caregivers ("parents") across Ohio whose children have received HBHPC. We hypothesized that the 10 provider-prioritized domains and their definitions, as identified in our previous research, would be modified and augmented by parents for application in the pediatric HBHPC setting. Methods: This was a qualitative study utilizing semistructured interviews of bereaved parents of children who were enrolled in a pediatric HBHPC program at the three sites from 2012 to 2016 and parents of children who were currently enrolled in these programs for at least a year. Results: Parent-prioritized thematic codes mapped to 9 of the 10 provider-prioritized domains of quality HBHPC; none mapped to the domain "Ethical and Legal Aspects of Care." Although most of the provider-prioritized domains are pertinent to parents, parents defined these domains differently, deepening our understanding and perspective of quality within each domain. An 11th domain, Compassionate Care, was created and defined based on emergent themes. Conclusions: Parent/caregiver-prioritized domains of quality in pediatric HBHPC map closely to provider-prioritized domains, but parents define these domains differently. Parents also prioritize Compassionate Care as a new domain of quality in pediatric HBHPC. Measuring the quality of care provided in HBHPC programs through this broader perspective should enable the selection of measures which are truly patient- and family-centered.

Research abstracts