Section on Hospice and Palliative Medicine

Welcome to the AAP Section on Hospice and Palliative Medicine (SOHPM) Web site! The site is under development with new information and resources being added on a regular basis. We invite you to look around and let us know about any additional resources or information that you would like to see.

What is Palliative Care?

Pediatric palliative care is care designed to meet the unique and special needs of children living with life-threatening conditions such as cancer, muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis, severe brain problems, complications from prematurity and birth defects and rare disorders, among other conditions. Unlike many other forms of medical care, pediatric palliative care recognizes that everyone in the family is affected when one member is ill. Therefore, pediatric palliative care focuses on the needs of the patient and family: parents, brothers and sisters and other members of the members of your suppport system. The focus of pediatric palliative care is to enhance the quality of life for all involved, in large part by preventing and alleviating suffering using the skills and knowledge of a specialized care team that includes doctors, nurses, social workers, chaplains, child life therapists, and others. Pediatric palliative care focuses on pain and symptom management, information sharing and advance care planning, practical, psychosocial and spiritual support, and coordination of care. > Learn more about palliative care

From The Chair

March 2014

Can Palliative Care Solve the Problem of Providing Complex Chronic Care for Children and Youth With Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN)? Should it?

The medical home model for pediatrics is predicated on the logic that pediatricians who know their patients’ health care needs best are in the position to orchestrate and provide the multiple levels of primary, specialty, rehabilitative, and supportive care necessary to meet the needs of CYSHCN and their families. As pediatricians continue to evolve their practices and construct functional medical homes, there remain challenges in addressing those children and youth who are often in and out of tertiary children’s specialty hospitals, subspecialty clinics and numerous rehabilitative and supportive care clinicians’ offices. Across the age spectrum, perhaps as many as 10 million children in the US have “special health care needs” and many may not be in receipt of all of the services they need. > Read more from the Chair

The information posted on this Web site is selected for its value and relation to palliative care and does not represent an endorsement or an official opinion or position of the American Academy of Pediatrics.