Development of a state-wide pediatric palliative care service in Australia: referral and outcomes over two years

Herbert, A., Bradford, N., Donovan, L., Pedersen, L. and Irving, H. (2014) Development of a state-wide pediatric palliative care service in Australia: referral and outcomes over two years. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 17 3: 288-295. doi:10.1089/jpm.2013.0400


Author Herbert, A.
Bradford, N.
Donovan, L.
Pedersen, L.
Irving, H.
Title Development of a state-wide pediatric palliative care service in Australia: referral and outcomes over two years
Journal name Journal of Palliative Medicine   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1096-6218
1557-7740
Publication date 2014-03-01
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1089/jpm.2013.0400
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 17
Issue 3
Start page 288
End page 295
Total pages 8
Place of publication New Rochelle, NY, United States
Publisher Mary Ann Liebert Publishers
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: Pediatric palliative care is an evolving specialty that aims to improve the lives of children with a life-limiting condition. As an emerging specialty, there is much to be learned about service provision and the expected outcomes that can be achieved. Additionally, quantification of the needs for pediatric palliative care is complicated by the uncertainty of defining the population that requires care.

Objectives: Our aim was to define the characteristics of the population cared for by a newly formed state-wide service in Queensland, Australia, and describe the development of the service over a 24-month period.

Design: Data on all referrals and outcomes were collected. Descriptive statistics were used to describe patterns including the variation in outcomes between children with oncology and non-oncology diagnoses. Other factors influencing the development of the service including involved health professionals and the model of the Australian health care system are also described.

Results: Over a 24-month period, 150 patients were referred of whom 117 subsequently died. There was a wide range of diseases and ages, and significantly, 58% of children were from regional or rural locations where there are can be limited access to specialist pediatric services. The average length of service was 83 days. A variety of factors were identified as being important for providing optimal care including ensuring equity in access, timing of referral, and continuity of care.

Conclusion: The importance of a population-based approach to pediatric palliative care in a state that is geographically large and diverse like Queensland is highlighted. This article may provide valuable information to other health care providers who care for children with life-limiting illnesses.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Medicine Publications
Centre for Online Health Publications
 
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Created: Wed, 05 Feb 2014, 19:38:45 EST by Burke, Eliza on behalf of Centre for On-Line Health