Palliative Care in Pediatric Oncology

Document Type

Contribution to Book

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Source Publication

Pediatric Oncology Nursing

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Pediatric palliative care (PPC) in oncology is the active total care of the child’s body, mind, and spirit and involves giving support to the family. Pediatric palliative oncology includes patients across the age spectrum from infancy through young adulthood, and can be embodied as a philosophy of care or applied by an interdisciplinary team of experts. PPC should be initiated at the time of a child’s cancer diagnosis and continued regardless of whether or not the child receives treatment directed at the cancer. PPC aims to prevent and relieve suffering across multiple realms (physical, psychological, social, and existential or spiritual) and enhance quality of life. PPC can be either primary (administered by the primary oncology team) or specialty-focused (administered by an expert or team of experts in PPC), depending on the unique needs of the patient, family, and health care team. Despite evidence demonstrating the benefits of PPC, numerous barriers to its implementation remain. Ongoing education and research are necessary to support consistent access for patients, families, and health care clinicians.


"Palliative Care in Pediatric Oncology" in Pediatric Oncology Nursing. Eds. Pamela S. Hinds and Lauri Linder. Cham, Switzerland: Springer 2020: 191-213. DOI.