Paper Presentations: Supportive Care Issues — Pediatric Oncology Providers’ Perspectives on Early Integration of Pediatric Palliative Care (228-2)

11:50 am – 12:10 pm Saturday, August 19

1CH  In many developed countries, great strides have been made in the treatment of cancer especially in children leading to increasing survival rates. Parallel advances in palliative care have also taken place albeit, at a slightly lower pace.

However, in most developing countries, cancer patients are diagnosed with advanced stage disease where treatment options are often limited to palliative care.

The purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions of pediatric oncology providers at the Children’s Cancer Institute (CCI) in Lebanon regarding the feasibility of integrating early Pediatric Palliative Care (PPC) in the management of children with cancer. Using a qualitative research design, four focus group discussions were held with seven physicians and 10 nurses working in the pediatric oncology settings. The following themes laying the foundation for integrating PPC in pediatric oncology were identified: understanding of palliative care concept, time of integration of palliative care in the standard management, and interdisciplinary collaboration and communication. This study forms the basis for implementing a palliative care clinical service in pediatric oncology in Lebanon. It also allows for assessing the impact of providing early palliative care for children with cancer that is intended to enhance quality and compassionate care for children and their families.