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J Palliat Care. 2005 Winter;21(4):252-61.

Children's perspectives of a pediatric hospice program.

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


Little attention has been paid to documenting the experiences of children in pediatric palliative care programs, both those who are ill and their siblings. In this evaluation study of Canuck Place, a Canadian, free-standing hospice program, 26 ill children and 41 of their siblings completed mail-out questionnaires. In addition, four ill children and 10 siblings participated in face-to-face interviews. Results indicate that nearly all children were enthusiastic about the program's activities and the physical environment at Canuck Place. Engaging activities, physical amenities, and the social climate promoted by staff, volunteers, and other families were important contributors to the children's satisfaction. Suggestions for better serving adolescents included: a wider range of age-appropriate activities, games, and toys--especially for teens and older children; more trips and tours outside the building and around town; and caring staff and volunteers who are "attentive-in-the-moment". From the children's perspective, the key to Canuck Place's success is its social climate of caring, safety, friendliness, acceptance, and variety.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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