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Paediatric Palliative Care




Palliative care for children and adolescents is a relatively new specialty area. It has been developing in Australia since the late 1990s. Although the principles of adult palliative care can be applied to children and adolescents, the context of palliative care for them differs in significant ways. Compared with adults, there are fewer children and adolescents requiring palliative care. In developed countries such as Australia, the number of children and adolescents aged between 0–19 years likely to require palliative care services is estimated as 16 per 10 000. This chapter provides an overview of the issues involved in child and adolescent palliative care, and strategies that can be used in a comprehensive approach to care.


Contents include

  • features of paediatric palliative care
  • life-threatening illnesses in children
  • understanding paediatric palliative care
  • strategies to overcome barriers to paediatric palliative care
  • communicating to children about death and dying
  • symptom management.
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Author / Editor Biographies

RN, BN, PDipACN and PhD.
Sharon De Graves has a nursing career in paediatric oncology that spans over 15 years. She is currently the Nurse Unit Manager of the Children's Cancer Centre, Monash Children's Hospital. Sharon is also the Chair of the Australian and New Zealand Childhood Haematology and Oncology Nurses Group (ANZCHOG). Sharon is experienced in the development of services and standards of practice for children and adolescents with cancer. Her PhD explored the experience of childhood cancer following relapse, and elicited an understanding of the uncertainty at this time and the relationship between hope and fe...
BNurs(Hons), GCert TerTeach, PhD, FRCNA
Leanne Monterosso holds a joint appointment with the University of Notre Dame Australia (Fremantle) and St John of God Hospital Murdoch as the Chair of Nursing (Clinical Nursing). Leanne is also Adjunct Professor in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Edith Cowan University. She has undertaken extensive research in the areas of paediatric cancer and palliative care, with a particular focus on the needs of children requiring palliative care and their families. Leanne's research has provided the basis for the development paediatric palliative care guidelines, which have been used by the Weste...

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