Reporting of pediatric palliative care: a systematic review and quantitative analysis of research publications in palliative care journals

Indian J Palliat Care. 2011 Sep;17(3):202-9. doi: 10.4103/0973-1075.92337.


Context: Pediatric palliative care clinical practice depends upon an evidence-based decision-making process which in turn is based upon current research evidence.

Aims: This study aimed to perform a quantitative analysis of research publications in palliative care journals for reporting characteristics of articles on pediatric palliative care.

Settings and design: This was a systematic review of palliative care journals.

Materials and methods: Twelve palliative care journals were searched for articles with "paediatric" or "children" in titles of the articles published from 2006 to 2010. The reporting rates of all journals were compared. The selected articles were categorized into practice, education, research, and administration, and subsequently grouped into original and review articles. The original articles were subgrouped into qualitative and quantitative studies, and the review articles were grouped into narrative and systematic reviews. Each subgroup of original articles' category was further classified according to study designs.

Statistical analysis used: Descriptive analysis using frequencies and percentiles was done using SPSS for Windows, version 11.5.

Results: The overall reporting rate among all journals was 2.66% (97/3634), and Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing (JHPN) had the highest reporting rate of 12.5% (1/8), followed by Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life and Palliative Care (JSWELPC) with a rate of 7.5% (5/66), and Journal of Palliative Care (JPC) with a rate of 5.33% (11/206).

Conclusions: The overall reporting rate for pediatric palliative care articles in palliative care journals was very low and there were no randomized clinical trials and systematic reviews found. The study findings indicate a lack of adequate evidence base for pediatric palliative care.

Keywords: Evidence-based pediatric palliative care; Journal reporting; Publication trend; Research.