A pilot study of the effectiveness of home teleconsultations in paediatric palliative care

J Telemed Telecare. 2012 Dec;18(8):438-42. doi: 10.1258/jtt.2012.gth103. Epub 2012 Nov 15.


We conducted a pilot study to investigate the effectiveness of a home telehealth service for paediatric palliative care consultations. Over a 10 week period, 14 of the 17 caregivers approached to be part of the study agreed to participate. Families were allocated, non-randomly, to a control group (usual care) or an intervention group (usual care with the addition of home telehealth consultations). The primary outcome measure was quality-of-life score. Caregivers were surveyed for up to 99 days following recruitment. A descriptive analysis of the quality-of-life data showed no differences between caregivers in the two groups. However, important lessons were learnt regarding factors which influence the success of studies in this population group, and the domains of caregiver quality-of-life that warrant intervention. Palliative care is complex, and multiple interventions and supports are required if care is to be managed at home. Home telehealth consultations are a feasible and acceptable means of facilitating a palliative care consultation which can reduce the burden on families at a distressing time.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Palliative Care / methods*
  • Palliative Care / standards
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Pediatrics / methods*
  • Pediatrics / standards
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life*
  • Remote Consultation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Rural Population