Research priorities in pediatric palliative care: a Delphi study

J Palliat Care. 2008 Winter;24(4):229-39.


Background: Pediatric palliative care is increasingly recognized to be a specialized type of care requiring specific skills and knowledge, yet, as found in several countries, there is little available research evidence on which to base care.

Objectives: The goal of the project was to achieve consensus among palliative care practitioners and researchers regarding the identification of pertinent lines of research.

Method: A Delphi technique was used with an interdisciplinary panel (n = 14-16) of researchers and frontline clinicians in pediatric palliative care in Canada.

Results: Four priority research questions were identified: What matters most for patients and parents receiving pediatric palliative services? What are the bereavement needs of families in pediatric palliative care? What are the best practice standards in pain and symptom management? What are effective strategies to alleviate suffering at the end of life?

Conclusions: These identified priorities will provide guidance and direction for research efforts in Canada, and may prove useful in providing optimal care to patients and families in pediatric palliative care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Attitude to Health
  • Benchmarking
  • Bereavement
  • Canada
  • Child
  • Consensus
  • Delphi Technique
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Family / psychology
  • Humans
  • Needs Assessment / organization & administration*
  • Pain / prevention & control
  • Palliative Care / organization & administration*
  • Pediatrics / organization & administration*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Research / organization & administration*
  • Research Design
  • Stress, Psychological / prevention & control
  • Surveys and Questionnaires