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Home telemedicine for paediatric palliative care.

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The University of Queensland, Centre for Online Health, Royal Children's Hospital, Herston, Queensland, Australia.


Children with life limiting conditions require intensive, complex management of the physical, psychosocial and spiritual issues that evolve for the child and their family as the focus of care moves from curative treatment to palliation. Optimal palliative care for children can be limited by the lack of health professionals with the necessary skills and experience to confidently and competently manage the care of both the child and the family. The University of Queensland's Centre for Online Health has been working closely with the Paediatric Palliative Care Service (PPCS) at the Royal Children's Hospital (RCH) in Brisbane, Australia, to investigate the potential of telemedicine for the delivery of specialist support in the home or local community. Research conducted in Queensland has shown how telemedicine can be effectively used to link the specialist paediatric palliative care team into the home of families caring for a child receiving palliative care, regardless of their physical distance from the RCH. This qualitative report describes two case studies, each illustrating the value of home telemedicine for families at this vulnerable and distressing time. This work should provide a useful insight for other specialty disciplines contemplating home telemedicine applications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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