Managing transition from curative to palliative: GP and bereaved parent experiences

Research output: Contribution to conference (unpublished)Paperpeer-review


Children with cancer in the UK are treated in regional childhood cancer centres (RCCC). Families and health care professionals can develop close working relationships over the often-long duration of treatment. Cancer still accounts for largest numbers of childhood disease related deaths and as home is commonly the choice of location for palliative and end of life care, the child and family can face transitions both from curative to palliative care and from hospital to home. This paper reports on findings relating to these transitions from the perspectives of parents and family doctors highlighting implications for both hospital and community based health care practitioners.
To explore the experiences of bereaved parents and family doctors following the death of a child with cancer in the family home.
Ethical approval was sought and obtained.
In this qualitative study one-to-one semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 18 GPs and 11 bereaved parents. The parents were those whose child had received treatment for cancer at a RCCC in the UK and who died at home, the GPs were those involved in the palliative care. Chronological comparative data analysis using grounded theory was completed.
Cessation of contact with the RCCC when the child receives palliative care at home can be traumatic for parents. Hospital and community based health care professionals need to carefully consider how they establish, maintain and end working relationships with the child and family.
Findings from this study provide a new perspective to the effective management of transition in paediatric oncology palliative care; managing working relationships. Findings highlight the need for hospital and community based staff to identify and employ strategies that ensure working relationships with families are effectively managed prior to, during and following the child’s transition from curative to palliative care.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 18 May 2016
Event2nd International Children’s Palliative Care Network conference - Buenos Aires, Argentina
Duration: 18 May 201621 May 2016


Conference2nd International Children’s Palliative Care Network conference
CityBuenos Aires


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