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Use of Telehealth in Pediatric Palliative Care

Journal title
Telemedicine journal and e-health : the official journal of the American Telemedicine Association
Publication year
Winegard, B.; Miller, E. G.; Slamon, N. B.

OBJECTIVES: Pediatric subspecialty care, including multidisciplinary palliative care, tends to be located in urban academic centers or children’s hospitals. Telehealth provides the opportunity to care for patients who would otherwise not be able to access services. We present cases wherein telehealth was used to provide counseling services to patients who would not have been able to receive this service. METHODS: We discuss cases of telehealth use for patient and family counseling in the setting of palliative care and bereavement follow-up. Patients who live a great distance from the hospital with limited access to services were followed by a hospital-based pediatric palliative care team. Patients and families gave feedback after use of telehealth for counseling services. RESULTS: Counseling through telehealth by our hospital-based palliative care social worker was successful for all parties involved: patient, family, and social worker. CONCLUSIONS: Telehealth helps relieve disparity in access to services and care, which is particularly problematic in pediatrics and mental health. For the patients in this case series, it was an effective modality to receive counseling services and meet needs that otherwise would not have been addressed.

Research abstracts