| ORIGINAL ARTICLE
|Year : 2008 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 16--22
Parental concerns in children requiring palliative care
Manjiri Dighe, Sunita Jadhav, Mary Ann Muckaden, Anuradha Sovani
Palliative care services, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Children with advanced, life-limiting illness have unique needs which are different from those of adults. Pediatric palliative care is an under developed specialty.
Aims : To identify concerns of parents of children with advanced, incurable cancers, and to elicit their attitudes toward revealing the diagnosis and prognosis to the sick child.
Method : This study was carried out in a large tertiary cancer center in India. Parents of 20 pediatric palliative care patients attending the outpatient department were interviewed and emerging themes identified.
Results : Parents showed varying degrees of anticipatory grief. Most families were financially strained. Most parents were reluctant to discuss disease and dying with the child. Siblings were rarely told or directly involved in care. There was resistance to allowing the palliative care team to communicate with the patient. Patients did not receive any formal support. Parents identified family and neighbors as the main sources of support.
Conclusions : Parental attitudes hinder open communication with dying children in India. There is a need for research to explore the concerns of families of children with fatal illness. Specialist training is required for professionals working in pediatric palliative care to address this issue.
Palliative care services, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
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