Issues, Challenges, and Potential of Palliative Care in Pediatric Nursing: A Systematic Review

Aris Widiyanto, Rina Tri Handayani, Joko Tri Atmojo


Background: Palliative care is an essential right for infants and children with a life-threaten­ing ill­ness. However, palliative care is still un­ava­il­able in some developing countries. This stu­dy aim­ed to explore the issues, challenges, and po­ten­tial of palliative care in pediatric nursing care.

Subjects and Method: A systematic review was conducted by searching published articles in PubMed, CINAHL, and EMBASE databases, from year 2000 to 2018. The keywords used for this stu­dy included “palliative” AND “children”, “pal­lia­tive” AND “nursing” AND “care”, “palliative ca­re” AND “pediatric care”. The data were analyzed by PRISMA flow diagram.

Results: Palliative care is evolving continuously, meeting new challenges, and expand­ing beyond the care of terminally ill pediatric patients. A ma­jor challenge in palliative care is effective com­mu­­nication. However, only a few communication trainings exist for nurses. Obstacles of palliative care in pediatrics nursing included clinical, ope­ra­tional, and financial factors. However, pallia­tive care has a substantial potential to reduce morbidity in infants and children. In addition, a cohort study conducted in 265 pedia­tric cancer patients reported that palliative care reduced pain and improved their life expectancy.

Conclusion: Palliative care is a comprehensive app­roach of care and its delivery to pediatric pa­tients is challenging. It has a substantial potential in reducing infant and child morbidity.

Keywords: palliative care, pediatric nursing, pal­li­ative nursing

Correspondence: Aris Widiyanto. School of Health Sciences Mam­ba'ul 'Ulum, Surakarta, Jl. Ring Road Utara, Ta­wangsari, Mojosongo, Jebres, Surakarta, Central Java. Email: Mo­bile: 081329209095

Journal of Maternal and Child Health (2020), 5(1): 167-172

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