We compared the records of paediatric palliative consultations undertaken face-to-face, with telemedicine consultations undertaken in patients' homes. A convenience sample of consecutive paediatric palliative care patients was identified from the hospital's palliative care database. A total of 100 consultations was reviewed (50 telemedicine consultations during home visits and 50 face-to-face consultations) according to 14 established principles and components of a paediatric palliative care consultation. In the telemedicine group there was a higher proportion of patients in a stable condition (58% vs 7%), and a lower proportion of patients in terminal phase (2% vs 17%). Discussion about pain and anorexia were significantly more common in the telemedicine group. Discussion about follow up was significantly more common in the telemedicine group (86% vs 56%), whilst resuscitation planning was more common in deteriorating patients receiving inpatient care. All other components and principles of a palliative care consultation were documented equally regardless of method of consultation. The findings confirm that palliative consultations via telemedicine are just as effective as face-to-face consultations in terms of the documented components of the consultation.
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