Providing Palliative and Hospice Care to Children, Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer

Semin Oncol Nurs. 2021 Jun;37(3):151166. doi: 10.1016/j.soncn.2021.151166. Epub 2021 Jun 24.


Objectives: To describe palliative, concurrent, and hospice care in pediatric oncology in the United States (US), we present a clinical scenario illustrating palliative and hospice care, including eligibility for concurrent care, insurance coverage and billing, barriers to accessing quality pediatric palliative and hospice care, and implications for oncology nursing practice.

Data sources: Peer-reviewed articles, clinical practice guidelines, professional organizations, and expert clinical opinion examining pediatric oncology, palliative care, and hospice care.

Conclusion: Understanding the goals of palliative and hospice care and the differences between them is important in providing holistic, goal-directed care.

Implications for nursing practice: Oncology nurses play a pivotal role in supporting the goals of pediatric palliative care and hospice care and in educating patients and their families. Nurses form trusting relationships with pediatric oncology patients and their families and are in a position to advocate for best palliative care practices as disease progresses to end of life, including when appropriate concurrent care or hospice.

Keywords: Pediatric concurrent care; Pediatric hospice; Pediatric oncology; Pediatric oncology nursing; Pediatric palliative care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Hospice Care*
  • Hospice and Palliative Care Nursing*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Oncology Nursing
  • Palliative Care
  • United States
  • Young Adult