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J Pediatr Psychol. 2007 Oct;32(9):1079-88. Epub 2007 Apr 2.

Patient-reported outcomes in end-of-life research in pediatric oncology.

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  • 1St Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN 38105-2719, USA.



The purpose of this review of published literature was to identify the number and focus of empirically based papers that included research methods used to directly solicit patient-reported outcomes (PRO) from pediatric oncology patients at end of life.


Key terms including "pediatric or child and oncology or cancer and end of life or palliative or hospice or dying" were used with five data bases (PubMed, Ovid, Cochrane, PsycInfo & PsycArticles, and CINAHL) for English language literature published between January, 2001 and June, 2006. All retrieved documents were independently reviewed by a panel of six (nurses, physicians, and one psychologist) with backgrounds in pediatric oncology.


Thirty-five publications were identified but nine (25.7%) were eliminated from the analysis as they did not meet inclusion criteria. Of the remaining 26, four (15.4%) included patient-reported outcomes, six (23.1%) included parent only-reported outcomes, and five (19.2%) included staff only-reported outcomes. Nine (34.6%) were retrospective medical record reviews. Two (7.7%) included parent and record review data or parent and physician reports.


Empirically-based end-of-life publications in pediatric oncology are relatively few in number and nearly 85% of completed studies do not include PRO.

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