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J Palliat Care. 2002 Spring;18(1):59-67.

Addressing spirituality in pediatric hospice and palliative care.

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Department of Family Health Care Nursing, School of Nursing, University of California, San Francisco, California, USA.


Hospice and palliative care principles mandate clinicIans to provide "total" care to patients and their families. Such care incorporates not only physical, emotional, and psychosocial care, but spiritual care as well. Even though considerable attention has been directed to spiritual issues for adult patients in hospice and palliative care, spirituality in pediatric palliative care has been virtually neglected. The need for guidelines to assess spirituality in this population was identified as a priority issue by members of a subcommittee of the Children's International Project on Children's Palliative/Hospice Services, created under the auspices of the National Hospice Organization. Committee members, based on their clinical, research, and personal experiences, identified several aspects relevant to spirituality in general, and to spirituality in pediatric palliative care in particular, and developed guidelines for clinicians in pediatric palliative care. The purpose of this paper is to share the results of this committee's work and, in particular, to present their guidelines for addressing spiritual issues in children and families in pediatric hospice and palliative care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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