Les Plateformes d’Accompagnement et de Répit, issues du Plan National Alzheimer 2008-2012 ont pour mission « d’offrir sur chaque territoire une palette diversifiée de structures de répit correspondant aux besoins des patients et aux attentes des aidants, en garantissant l’accessibilité à ces structures ». Le Lieu de Répit, service géré par le CCAS de Villeurbanne est l’une des plateformes dont la singularité est de proposer depuis 2014 un accueil séquentiel aux personnes âgées atteintes de maladie d’Alzheimer ou syndromes apparentés et vivant à domicile. Un court séjour permet au binôme Aidant/Aidé d’éprouver graduellement la séparation et de vivre une première expérience de la vie en collectivité. Un lien de confiance va se créer progressivement entre les professionnels, les personnes malades et leurs proches aidants. Ce lien permettra aux familles d’exprimer, le plus souvent pour la première fois, leur vécu au quotidien, difficultés, questionnements, attentes, craintes, ressenti et la manière dont elles envisagent l’avenir. Il s’agit aussi pour les professionnels de la gérontologie d’une expérience originale, radicalement différente de la prise en charge actuelle en établissement gériatrique et prenant en compte notamment les difficultés et les besoins du conjoint ou de la famille.
BACKGROUND: Many children with serious illnesses are receiving palliative and end-of-life care from pediatric palliative and hospice care teams at home (PPHC@Home). Despite the growth in PPHC@Home, no standardized measures exist to evaluate whether PPHC@Home provided in the U.S. meets the needs and priorities of children and their families.
METHODS: We developed and conducted a preliminary evaluation of a family-reported measure of PPHC@Home experiences using a multi-method, multi-stakeholder approach. Our instrument development process consisted of four phases. Item identification and development (Phase 1) involved a comprehensive literature search of existing instruments, guidelines, standards of practice, and PPHC@Home outcome studies, as well as guidance from a PPHC stakeholder panel. Phase 2 involved the initial item prioiritization and reduction using a discrete choice experiment (DCE) with PPHC professionals and parent advocates. Phase 3 involved a second DCE with bereaved parents and parents currently receiving care for their child to further prioritize and winnow the items to a set of the most highly-valued items. Finally, we conducted cognitive interviews with parents to provide information about the content validity and clarity of the newly-developed instrument (Phase 4).
RESULTS: Items were compiled predominantly from three existing instruments. Phase 2 participants included 34 PPHC providers, researchers, and parent advocates; Phase 3 participants included 47 parents; and Phase 4 participants included 11 parents. At the completion of Phase 4, the Experiences of Palliative and Hospice Care for Children and Caregivers at Home (EXPERIENCE@Home) Measure contains 22 of the most highly-valued items for evaluating PPHC@Home. These items include "The care team treats my child's physical symptoms so that my child has as good a quality of life as possible", "I have regular access to on-call services from our care team", and "The nurses have the knowledge, skills, and experience to support my child's palliative or hospice care at home."
CONCLUSIONS: The EXPERIENCE@Home Measure is the first known to specifically measure family-reported experiences with PPHC@Home in the U.S. Future work will include formal psychometric evaluation with a larger sample of parents, as well as evaluation of the clinical utility of the instrument with PPHC@Home teams.
OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to examine family carers' willingness, perceived difficulties and confidence in providing home end-of-life care to family members in future and their needs for support for doing so. Specific focus was on whether significant differences were found between carers of low and high levels of psychological distress.
METHOD: Family carers who had been providing care to family members living in the community were recruited via a local elderly agency in Hong Kong. A survey was conducted. Carers were asked to complete a questionnaire which included self-developed items, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and the Carers' Support Need Assessment Tool.
RESULTS: Of the 89 participants, 63.8% reported willingness to provide end-of-life care in future (increased to 78.5% if support needs were met), but most perceived it as difficult, and over half were not confident about doing so. The three greatest needs for support in end-of-life care are understanding the relative's illness, knowing what to expect in future, and knowing who to contact if concerned. Participants of the high psychological distress group experienced a significantly greater need for support in "dealing with your feelings and worries" and "looking after your own health."
SIGNIFICANCE OF RESULTS: Current family carers may not be ready for future provision of home end-of-life care. Meeting their support needs in providing end-of-life care is crucial to ensure the continuity of care provision. Psychologically distressed carers may often ignore self-care and may need helping professionals' additional support.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This article reviews the supportive care needs of patients with primary brain tumors and their caregivers, outlines the management of selected common symptoms of patients with brain tumors, and describes challenges and opportunities in providing palliative care for this population.
RECENT FINDINGS: Patients with primary malignant brain tumors generally have a poor prognosis and experience progressive neurologic decline and significant physical and psychological symptoms. Management of these symptoms, including fatigue, mood disorders, and the manifestations of cerebral edema, can be challenging. Caregivers for these patients have high rates of psychological distress and report significant caregiving burden. Although the benefit of early palliative care for patients with other advanced solid tumors is well established, our understanding of the role of palliative care in neuro-oncology is incomplete, and thus palliative care and hospice services remain underutilized.
SUMMARY: Patients with brain tumors and their caregivers have significant supportive care needs, which often differ from the needs of patients with cancers outside of the nervous system. Clinicians face challenges associated with managing patients' symptoms and adequately facilitating prognostic understanding and decision making. Palliative care and hospice services may offer important benefits for this population.
INTRODUCTION: Despite palliative care being offered to paediatric cancer patients, it has limited utilisation and often excludes parental support. Therefore, this review aims to consolidate evidence regarding experiences and needs of parents of end-of-life palliative paediatric oncology patients.
METHODS: Six electronic databases were searched as follows: CINAHL, The Cochrane Library, Embase, PubMed, Scopus and PsycINFO. Included studies were appraised using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme Checklist. They were then analysed using a two-step approach comprising firstly meta-summaries followed by meta-synthesis for generating fresh insights to the topic.
RESULTS: Thirteen studies were included. Three themes emerged as follows: (1) normalising the pain; (2) failure as a parent; and (3) importance of communication and social support. Parental experiences included moving on despite the pain and harbouring hopes for their children. However, parents felt immense guilt and a sense of failure in carrying out their parental roles. Effective communication with healthcare providers, availability of family support and religion were necessary to help them cope.
CONCLUSIONS: Given the emotional challenges faced by parents, healthcare policies and practices should be revised to include parental support in paediatric palliative care services. Future healthcare communication trainings should consider parental need for sensitivity in communication, empathy and kindness from healthcare professionals.
CONTEXT: Although cancer and HIV/AIDS are common causes of death in Vietnam, limited data exist on their palliative care needs. As palliative care becomes part of Universal Health Coverage, evidence is needed to scale up appropriate care.
OBJECTIVES: To elicit from people with cancer or HIV/AIDS in Vietnam, and their caregivers, the specific multidimensional symptoms and concerns that cause serious health-related suffering.
METHODS: Semi-structured, qualitative, in-depth interviews were conducted with stage III or IV cancer patients, people with HIV/AIDS, and their caregivers at three cancer treatment centers and two HIV/AIDS treatment centers in northern, central and southern Vietnam. Interviews were analyzed using thematic analysis.
RESULTS: Sixty people were interviewed (21 cancer patients, 20 people with HIV/AIDS, 19 caregivers). Pain and other physical symptoms severely impacted their daily lives. Psychological distress - including sadness, depression, worry, and a feeling of having no future - was mentioned frequently, and it was exacerbated by disease progression and by social problems such as financial difficulties and, among people with HIV/AIDS, stigma. Caregivers also suffered physically and psychosocially. Spirituality emerged as a source of strength for patients. Findings highlighted patients' and family caregivers' desire for more information about diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment, a shift toward individual decision-making.
CONCLUSION: The findings demonstrate common, multidimensional, and severe suffering among people living with cancer or HIV/AIDS and their caregivers in Vietnam. These qualitative data should guide development of optimum clinical assessment tools and palliative care services for these populations.
Background: Interpersonal hurt or offenses are common human experiences. Bereavement may be impacted for caregivers of a terminally ill loved one when these experiences occur.
Objective: To determine the prevalence and impact of interpersonal hurt-based experiences for hospice caregivers and interest in forgiveness-based support.
Design: Cross-sectional, mixed methods needs assessment.
Settings/Subjects: Bereaved hospice caregivers (n = 162) and direct care hospice clinicians (n = 133) were surveyed through mail-in and online surveys.
Measurements: Participants completed ad hoc surveys to assess prevalence and impact of interpersonal hurt experiences and interest in forgiveness-based support. Bereaved caregivers also completed the Core Bereavement Items (CBI).
Results: 41.98% of the bereaved experienced an interpersonal hurt or offense during the care or passing of their loved one. Those with hurt experiences felt highly impacted (63.2%), “sometimes” or “often” revisited the experience (91.2%), felt that their bereavement was affected (61.5%), and experienced physical symptoms (46.3%). CBI scores positively correlated with the impact of the experience. Hurt caregivers had higher CBI scores compared with those who did not. Of those who had not forgiven the offender, 46.3% felt that they could benefit from forgiveness-based support services. Qualitative analysis revealed themes of Disagreements with Decisions, Lack of Support, Relational Interactions, and Impact on Bereavement. Clinician responses supported these results.
Conclusions: Interpersonal hurt experiences can greatly impact the offended caregiver during caregiving and in bereavement. However, it should be noted that the decision to forgive is ultimately a personal choice and therefore forgiveness-based for forgiveness-specific interventions may not be appropriate for all individuals. Future research should assess the feasibility and usefulness of this type of support for caregivers and the bereaved.
CONTEXT: Prior studies have indicated that pediatric palliative care (PPC) resources vary across states and within regions in a state. Evaluating the current status of PPC and pediatric hospice care through a community needs assessment (CNA) can help address the gaps that exist to improve and increase access to PPC for children in need.
OBJECTIVES: Using the state of Georgia as an example, the process, methods, lessons learned, and limitations in conducting a statewide PPC CNA are described.
METHODS: A mixed-method descriptive design with multiple stages incorporating different methodological approaches was used. These included literature review, community profile, survey and interview questionnaire development, windshield survey, identifying and interviewing key informants, and quantitative survey of the state's hospice organizations. Key themes (providing PPC, PPC environment, collaboration, and future of PPC) and subthemes emerged, which were then triangulated across all existing data collection techniques to provide recommendations of varying feasibility and importance.
RESULTS: Described in a subsequent article (Johnson K.A. et al.).
CONCLUSION: This approach can be used by other state organizations, coalitions, governments, or national organizations looking to perform a CNA of palliative care, hospice resources, or could be applied to other geographical settings or types of care.
CONTEXT: Empirical information on circumstances of dying from advanced illness in developing countries remains sparse. Evidence indicates that out-of-hospital end-of-life care can have significant benefits such as increased satisfaction for the patient and caregivers and cost-effective for a health-care system. Services that are aimed to deliver care at private homes may be a good model for low- and middle-income countries or other low-resourced settings.
OBJECTIVES: To examine specialized, generalist, and informal palliative care provision and to describe the end-of-life care goals and treatments received.
METHOD: A mortality follow-back study with data obtained from general practitioners certifying a random sample of death certificates of adult decedents who died between March and August 2018. The questionnaire inquired about the characteristics of care and treatment preceding death.
RESULTS: Three hundred nine questionnaires were mailed, and the response rate was 31% (N = 96), of which 76% were nonsudden deaths. Of these cases, 27.4% received no palliative care, 39.7% received it from a general practitioner, and 6.8% from a specialized palliative care service. Comfort maximization (60.3%) was the main goal of care in the last week of life, and analgesics (53.4%) were the predominant treatment for achieving this goal. In addition, 60.3% received informal palliative care from a family member.
CONCLUSION: The largest part of end-of-life care at home in Trinidad and Tobago is provided by family members, whereas professional caregivers feature less prominently. To ensure quality in end-of-life care, better access to analgesics is needed, and adequate support and education for family members as well as general practitioners are highly recommended.
CONTEXT: Although bereaved family surveys (BFS) are routinely used quantitatively for quality assessment, open-ended and narrative responses are rarely systematically analyzed. Analysis of narrative responses may identify opportunities for improving end-of-life (EOL) care delivery.
OBJECTIVES: To highlight the value of routine and systematic analysis of narrative responses and to thematically summarize narrative responses to the BFS of Veterans Affairs.
METHODS: We analyzed more than 4600 open-ended responses to the BFS for all 2017 inpatient decedents across Veterans Affairs facilities. We used a descriptive qualitative approach to identify major themes.
RESULTS: Thematic findings clustered into three domains: patient needs, family needs, and facility and organizational characteristics. Patient needs include maintenance of veteran's hygiene, appropriately prescribing medications, adhering to patient wishes, physical presence in patient's final hours, and spiritual and religious care at EOL. Family and caregiver needs included enhanced communication with the patient's care team, assistance with administrative and logistical challenges after death, emotional support, and displays of respect and gratitude for the patient's life. Facility and organizational characteristics included care team coordination, optimal staffing, the importance of nonclinical staff to care, and optimizing facilities to be welcoming, equipped for individuals with disabilities, and able to provide high-quality food.
CONCLUSION: Systematic analysis of narrative survey data yields unique findings not routinely available through quantitative data collection and analysis. Organizations may benefit from the collection and regular analysis of narrative survey responses, which facilitate identification of needed improvements in palliative and EOL care that may improve the overall experiences for patients and families.
CONTEXT: Evidence from prior public health emergencies demonstrates palliative care's importance to manage symptoms, make advance care plans, and improve end-of-life outcomes.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the preparedness and capacity of palliative care services in the Middle-East and North Africa region to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
METHODS: A cross-sectional online survey was undertaken, with items addressing the WHO International Health Regulations. Non-probabilistic sampling was used, and descriptive analyses were conducted.
RESULTS: Responses from 43 services in 12 countries were analysed. Half of respondents were doctors (53%), and services were predominantly hospital-based (84%). All but one services had modified at least one procedure to respond to COVID-19. Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) policies were modified by a third (30%) and unavailable for a fifth (23%). While handwashing facilities at points of entry were available (98%), a third had concerns over accessing disinfectant products (37%), soap (35%), or running water (33%). The majority had capacity to use technology to provide remote care (86%) and contact lists of patients and staff (93%), though only two-fifths had relatives' details (37%). Respondents reported high staff anxiety about becoming infected themselves (median score 8 on 1-10 scale), but only half of services had a stress management procedure (53%). Three-fifths had plans to support triaging COVID-19 patients (60%) and protocols to share (58%).
CONCLUSION: Participating services have prepared to respond to COVID-19, but their capacity to respond may be limited by lack of staff support and resources. We propose recommendations to improve service preparedness and relieve unnecessary suffering.
New public health approaches to palliative care highlight the role of communities in care, yet there is little evidence of studies on community-led initiatives in the palliative care context. Therefore, the aim of this study, which took place in Auckland, New Zealand, was to (1) explore Pacific family carers’ views on what they need to feel supported as they care for older family members at the end of life and (2) to devise a resource that reflects their views that may be used to raise community awareness about these needs. This was achieved using a Participatory Action Research (PAR) framework in which a focus group was carried out and a work group formed to implement the focus group’s recommendations that were informed by a thematic analysis of the focus group data. The analysis resulted in the foregrounding of four themes, with the focus of this paper being on the 4th theme, the centrality of spirituality for a group of Pacific caregivers. This emphasis was chosen due to it being an underexplored topic in the palliative care literature. Co-creating resources based on research with community members allows for the development of tailored approaches of significance to that community, in this instance, a music video.
Objectives: Determine feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary effects of the Palliative Care Social Worker-led ALIGN (Assessing & Listening to Individual Goals and Needs) intervention in older persons admitted to Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) and their caregivers.
Design: A pilot pragmatic randomized stepped wedge design of ALIGN versus usual care in three SNFs.
Setting and Participants: One hundred and twenty older adults and caregivers (optional) with advanced medical illnesses.
Measures: Primary outcomes were feasibility and acceptability. We collected exploratory patient-/caregiver-centered outcomes at baseline and three months and conducted a medical record review at six months to assess documentation of Advance Directives (AD). We also collected exploratory health care utilization data, including hospitalizations, mortality, and hospice utilization.
Results: Of 179 patients approached, 120 enrolled (60 ALIGN patients with 15 caregivers and 60 usual care patients and 21 caregivers). Four intervention patients refused ALIGN visits, 8 patients died or discharged before initial visit, and 48 intervention patients received ALIGN visits, with [about] 80% having caregivers participating in visits, regardless of caregiver study enrollment. Quantitative exploratory outcomes were not powered to detect a difference between groups. We found 91% of ALIGN patients had a completed AD in medical record compared to 39.6% of usual care patients (p < 0.001). Qualitative feedback from participants and SNF staff supported high acceptability and satisfaction with ALIGN.
Conclusion and Clinical Implications: A pragmatic trial of the ALIGN intervention is feasible and preliminary effects suggest ALIGN is effective in increasing AD documentation. Further research is warranted to understand effects on caregivers and health care utilization. The current model for SNF does not address the palliative care needs of patients. ALIGN has potential to be an effective, scalable, acceptable, and reproducible intervention to improve certain palliative care outcomes within subacute settings.
Objectives: People with intellectual disabilities are living longer, and many require palliative care. There is a lack of evidence regarding information needs which may exist for their family caregivers. This study aimed to determine the informational needs of family caregivers of people with intellectual disabilities who require palliative care.
Methods: A qualitative, exploratory design was underpinned by the Transactional Model of Stress and Coping and the Transformative Paradigm. The study involved five Health and Social Care (HSC) Trusts and two Hospices in one region of the United Kingdom. Family caregivers (n = 10) participated in individual interviews. HSC professionals’ (n = 28) perceptions of informational needs were explored within focus groups (n = 6).
Results: Family caregivers reported information needs chiefly concerning the disease, financial entitlements, and practical support which could change over the disease trajectory. Findings evidence the expertise of long-term family caregivers, prior to the end of life. Palliative care and intellectual disability teams acknowledged their role to work in partnership and facilitate access to information. Recommendations were mapped onto a co-designed logic model.
Significance of results: New insights into the specific informational needs of this family caregiving population. A co-designed logic model presents these needs and how they may be addressed. Central co-ordinators have been advocated for these caregivers. This model could have international applicability for similar family carers, supporting people with other disabilities or cognitive impairment, and should be further explored.
BACKGROUND: The Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool intervention (CSNAT-I) has been shown to improve end-of-life care support for informal caregivers. This study investigated the impact of the CSNAT-I on caregivers of patients recently enrolled in specialised palliative care (SPC) at home in Denmark.
METHODS: A stepped-wedge cluster randomised controlled trial with nine clusters (ie, SPC teams). Outcome measures were collected using caregiver questionnaires at baseline (T0) and 2-week (T1) and 4-week (T2) follow-up.
RESULTS: A total of 437 caregivers were enrolled (control group, n=255; intervention group, n=182). No intervention effect was found on the primary outcome, caregiver strain at T1 (p=0.1865). However, positive effects were found at T1 and T2 on attention to caregivers' well-being (p<0.0001), quality of information and communication (p<0.0001), amount of information (T1: p=0.0002; T2: p<0.0001), involvement (T1: p=0.0045; T2: p<0.0001), talking about greatest burdens (p<0.0001) and assistance in managing greatest burdens (p<0.0001). The effect sizes of these differences were medium or large and seemed to increase from T1 to T2. At T1, positive effects were found on distress (p=0.0178) and home care responsibility (p=0.0024). No effect was found on the remaining outcomes.
CONCLUSION: Although no effect was found on caregiver strain, the CSNAT-I showed positive effects on caregiver distress, home care responsibility and key outcomes regarding caregivers' experience of the interaction with healthcare professionals.
TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT03466580.
Home support for patients receiving in-home palliative and end-of-life care (PELC) is greatly dependent on the daily presence of caregivers and their involvement in care delivery. However, the needs of caregivers throughout the care trajectory of a loved one receiving in-home PELC are still relatively unknown.
Objectives and methodology: This descriptive qualitative study focuses on the role of caregivers who have cared for a person receiving in-home PELC with the goal of describing their needs throughout the care trajectory. As part of this process, 20 caregivers took part in semi-directed interviews.
Results and discussion: This study sheds light on the multiple needs of caregivers of loved ones receiving in-home PELC. These informational, emotional, and psychosocial needs show that caregivers experience changes in their relationship with their loved one. Spiritual needs were expressed through the meaning ascribed to the home support experience. And the practical needs expressed by participants highlight the importance of round-the-clock access to PELC services and the essential importance of nursing support.
Conclusion: The needs of caregivers of loved ones receiving in-home PELC are not being met to a satisfactory degree. It is important to consider these needs in the care trajectory, alongside the needs of the patients themselves, in order to improve the support experience leading up to the bereavement period.
Background: Advance care planning (ACP) is a process by which patients reflect upon their goals, values and beliefs to allow them to make decisions about their future medical treatment that align with their goals and values, improving patient-centered care. Despite this, ACP is underutilized and is reported as one of the most difficult processes of oncology. We sought to: 1) explore patients’ and families’ understanding, experience and reflections on ACP, as well as what they need from their physicians during the process; 2) explore physicians’ views of ACP, including their experiences with initiating ACP and views on ACP training.
Methods: This was a qualitative descriptive study in Nova Scotia, Canada with oncologists, advanced cancer out-patients and their family members. Semi-structured interviews with advanced cancer out-patients and their family members (n = 4 patients, 4 family members) and oncologists (n = 10) were conducted; each participant was recruited separately. Data were analyzed using constant comparative analysis, which entailed coding, categorizing, and identifying themes recurrent across the datasets.
Results: Themes were identified from the patient / family and oncologist groups, four and five respectively. Themes from patients / families included: 1) positive attitudes towards ACP; 2) healthcare professionals (HCPs) lack an understanding of patients’ and families’ informational needs during the ACP process; 3) limited access to services and supports; and 4) poor communication between HCPs. Themes from oncologists included: 1) initiation of ACP discussions; 2) navigating patient-family dynamics; 3) limited formal training in ACP; 4) ACP requires a team approach; and 5) lack of coordinated systems hinders ACP.
Conclusions: Stakeholders believe ACP for advanced cancer patients is important. Patients and families desire earlier and more in-depth discussion of ACP, additional services and supports, and improved communication between their HCPs. In the absence of formal training or guidance, oncologists have used clinical acumen to initiate ACP and a collaborative healthcare team approach.
BACKGROUND: Caring at end-of-life is associated with financial burden, economic disadvantage, and psychosocial sequelae. Health and social welfare systems play a significant role in coordinating practical resources and support in this context. However, little is known about social policy and interactions with public institutions that shape experiences of informal carers with social welfare needs at end-of-life.
AIM: To explore ways in which palliative care and welfare sector workers perceive and approach experiences and needs of the carers of people with life-limiting illnesses who receive government income support or housing assistance, in an area of recognised socioeconomic disadvantage.
DESIGN: An interpretive descriptive study employed in-depth, qualitative interviews to explore participants' reflections on working with carers of someone with a life-limiting illness. Data were analysed using the framework approach.
SETTING/PARTICIPANTS: Twenty-one workers employed within three public services in Western Sydney were recruited.
RESULTS: Workers articulated understandings of welfare policy and its consequences for carers at end-of-life, including precariousness in relation to financial and housing circumstances. Identified resources and barriers to the navigation of social welfare needs by carers were categorised as personal, interpersonal and structural.
CONCLUSIONS: Caring at end-of-life while navigating welfare needs was seen to be associated with precariousness by participants, particularly for carers positioned in vulnerable social locations. Findings highlighted experiences of burdensome system navigation, inconsistent processes and inequity. Further exploration of structural determinants of experience is needed, including aspects of palliative care and welfare practice and investment in inter-agency infrastructure for supporting carers at end-of-life.
Limited evidence suggests carers of people with pulmonary fibrosis (PF) have a variety of information and support needs. This pilot focus group discussion, carried out in 2019, aimed to explore the needs of carers of people with pulmonary fibrosis and evaluate the impact of a UK hospice PF carers’ support group. Analysis revealed: (1) loneliness and connection, (2) negotiating with and motivating their loved-ones, and (3) the importance of the best environment for support as key themes. Participants reported a need for both practical and emotional support with the carers’ own health sometimes neglected. This evaluation concluded that peer support specifically with other PF carers was hugely valuable to the participants, as was the hospice environment itself. It is recommended that PF-specific carer support is considered when designing services for people with pulmonary fibrosis.
BACKGROUND: Provision of paediatric palliative care is complex and optimally covers meeting the individual needs of a heterogenous population of children and their parent caregivers throughout a life-limiting illness. It is unclear whether existing approaches comprehensively address parent caregivers' needs.
AIM: To examine support needs of parents caring for children with life limiting illnesses and identify specific approaches used to identify and address needs.
DESIGN: A scoping review.
DATA SOURCES: MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, CINAHL and ProQuest Central, were searched for peer reviewed English language full text research published from 2008 to 2019. Study quality appraisal was undertaken. Fourteen quantitative, 18 qualitative and 12 mixed methods studies were synthesised and themed using summative content analysis and mapped to the Parent Supportive Care Needs Framework (PSCNF).
RESULTS: Themes were communication, choice, information, practical, social, psychological, emotional and physical. Communication and choice were central and additional to domains of the PSCNF. Unmet were needs for supporting siblings, for respite care, out of hours, psychological, home and educational support. Six articles reported using instruments to identify parent carer support needs.
CONCLUSION: Support needs of parent caregivers of children with life limiting illnesses are substantial and heterogenous. While studies report evidence of burden and distress in parent caregivers, this rarely translates into improvements in practice through the development of interventions. A systematic and regular assessment of individual parent caregiver support needs is required by using instruments appropriate to use in clinical practice to move the focus to palliative care interventions and improved services for parents.