Models of Pediatric Palliative Oncology Outpatient Care-Benefits, Challenges, and Opportunities


PURPOSE: Although the bulk of current pediatric palliative care (PPC) services are concentrated in inpatient settings, the vast majority of clinical care, symptom assessment and management, decision-making, and advance care planning occurs in the outpatient and home settings. As integrated PPC/pediatric oncology becomes the standard of care, novel pediatric palliative oncology (PPO) outpatient models are emerging. The optimal PPO model is unknown and likely varies on the basis of institutional culture, resources, space, and personnel. METHODS: We review five institutions' unique outpatient PPO clinical models with their respective benefits and challenges. This review offers pragmatic guidance regarding PPO clinic development, implementation, and resource allocation. RESULTS: Specific examples include a floating clinic model, embedded disease-specific PPC experts, embedded consultative or trigger-based supportive care clinics, and telehealth clinics. CONCLUSION: Organizations that have overcome personnel, funding, and logistical challenges can serve as role models for centers developing PPO clinic models. In the absence of a one-size-fits-all model, pediatric oncology and PPC groups can select, tailor, and implement the model that best suits their respective personnel, needs, and capacities. Emerging PPO clinics must balance the challenges and opportunities unique to their organization, with the goal of providing high-quality PPC for children with cancer and their families.

Publication Title

Journal of oncology practice