A Mixed-Methods Quasi-Experimental Study on Perspectives Among Physicians and Nurses Regarding Use of Palliative Care Teams in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit After Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest.

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BACKGROUND: Nationally, only one-third of children survive to hospital discharge after initial presentation with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). Of those children who survive, less than 25% leave the hospital at their functional baseline. Given these poor outcomes, such patients could benefit from palliative care involvement.

AIMS: To characterize the existing use and identify barriers to seeking palliative care consults in children admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) with OHCA.

DESIGN: Mixed-methods quasi-experimental study.

PARTICIPANTS: Physicians (MD/DO), nurse practitioners, and registered nurses who provide care in the PICU.

RESULTS: Overall, nurses felt palliative care was consulted "not nearly enough" (43%), while the majority of physicians (53.9%) perceived palliative care services are requested either "just the right amount" (30.8%) or "too often" (23.1%). The top 3 desired palliative services were (1) patient and family psychosocial support, (2) assistance with determining goals of care, and (3) counseling and education. Barriers to consults were forgetting/not thinking about consulting, and family refusal of palliative care consult. No statistical differences among participant groups were found for likelihood to consult palliative care, unless the patient faced imminent death.

CONCLUSIONS: Pediatric Intensive Care Unit providers desire assistance from palliative care teams for help with identifying goals of care, providing psychosocial support, as well as education to the patients and their families. Unfortunately, there remains a large discrepancy between physicians and nurses when it comes to how often palliative care is, and should, be consulted.

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The American journal of hospice & palliative care



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