Factors affecting decisional conflict for parents with children enrolled in a paediatric palliative care programme

Int J Palliat Nurs. 2010 Nov;16(11):542-7. doi: 10.12968/ijpn.2010.16.11.80020.


Palliative care programmes have the potential to affect several health outcomes for children and families, including reducing decisional conflict.

Method: A telephone survey was conducted with 140 parents of children with life-limiting illnesses enrolled in Florida's publicly funded paediatric palliative care programme (Partners in Care: Together for Kids).

Results: Multivariate results suggest that parents with less than a high school education had decisional conflict scores (DCS) that were 13 points higher (p<0.05) than parents with some college education. In addition, parents who indicated that they had recently made a decision for their children had DCS scores that were 7 points higher (p<0.05) than parents who indicated they had not.

Discussion: Our findings suggest that paediatric palliative care programmes should treat parents with lower educational levels as being particularly vulnerable and should consider allocating additional resources to them when a decision for their children is imminent.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Conflict, Psychological*
  • Decision Making*
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Florida
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Medicaid
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Needs Assessment*
  • Palliative Care*
  • Parents*
  • Social Support*
  • United States
  • Young Adult