Hospice care access inequalities: a systematic review and narrative synthesis
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  • Published on:
    There is a Paediatric Perspective to Hospice Care Access Inequalities
    • Aisling Semple, Paediatric Specialist Registrar Children's Health Ireland, Crumlin, Dublin 12
    • Other Contributors:
      • Suzanne Crowe, Consultant in Paediatric Intensive Care

    It was with great interest that we read the recent paper entitled “Hospice care access inequalities: a systematic review and narrative synthesis”.(1) In this paper, the authors report inequality in access to hospice care for several population groups, including those living in rural or deprived areas, certain ethnic subgroups, the oldest of the old, and people with non-malignant diagnoses. They advocate for better collaboration and innovation in order to improve access to hospice care for all members of society. We noted that publications on hospice care for people under 18 years old were excluded from this review. We wish to add to the discussion by sharing some of the unique aspects and challenges of providing palliative care to babies, children and adolescents with palliative care needs.
    Paediatric palliative care (PCC) is an active and total care approach to the care of children with life limiting and life threatening conditions from the point of diagnosis, throughout the child’s life and death.(2) Although it shares many similarities, it is distinct from adult palliative care due to the nature and trajectory of the conditions dealt with, as well as developmental, ethical and family issues. (3)
    As a result of major advances in ICU care, the development of novel treatment and the increased availability of life sustaining treatment, such as dialysis, non-invasive ventilation and nutritional support, children with complex medical needs are living longer than...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.