Study looks at inclusion of paediatric issues in curricula for palliative care training

Categories: Research.

The background to the research makes the point that children suffering from life-limiting diseases are frequently cared for by adult palliative care teams due to missing paediatric structures in that field. The authors ask whether palliative care curricula for physicians comprehensively cover issues of paediatric palliative care. 

The research was undertaken by C. Schiess from the Centers for Pain Medicine in Munich, and S. Gottschling and B. M. Gonwald from the Center for Palliative Care and Pediatric Pain in Homberg and is entitled What are palliative care physicians for adults taught on palliative care for children? Paediatric aspects in palliative care curricula. 

For the sturdy, inter-professional or medical palliative care curricula were identified by an extensive literature review in German and English using the search-engines Google as well as Medline, MedPilot and Pubmed.

Results reflect that out of the 30 palliative care curricula identified globally, only 15 mention any paediatric issues. Topics most often covered within the majority of those 15 curricula which do cover paediatric issues include grief and bereavement in the family, parents and siblings, communication with children, paediatric malignancies, paediatric pain management and pharmacology.  

The researchers conclude that the variability of inclusion of paediatric palliative care issues and the lack of depth and standardisation of knowledge, skills and attitudes in paediatric palliative care issues included in palliative care curricula is not sufficient to guide adult palliative care physicians in their clinical work with children suffering from life-limiting diseases. 

Click here to read the abstract in both English and German. 

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