First name
Jackelyn
Middle name
Y
Last name
Boyden

Title

Home-Based Care for Children with Serious Illness: Ecological Framework and Research Implications.

Year of Publication

2022

Date Published

07/2022

ISSN Number

2227-9067

Abstract

Care for U.S. children living with serious illness and their families at home is a complex and patchwork system. Improving home-based care for children and families requires a comprehensive, multilevel approach that accounts for and examines relationships across home environments, communities, and social contexts in which children and families live and receive care. We propose a multilevel conceptual framework, guided by Bronfenbrenner's ecological model, that conceptualizes the complex system of home-based care into five levels. Levels 1 and 2 contain patient and family characteristics. Level 3 contains factors that influence family health, well-being, and experience with care in the home. Level 4 includes the community, including community groups, schools, and providers. Level 5 includes the broader regional system of care that impacts the care of children and families across communities. Finally, care coordination and care disparities transcend levels, impacting care at each level. A multilevel ecological framework of home-based care for children with serious illness and families can be used in future multilevel research to describe and test hypotheses about aspects of this system of care, as well as to inform interventions across levels to improve patient and family outcomes.

DOI

10.3390/children9081115

Alternate Title

Children (Basel)

PMID

35892618

Title

The Design of a Data Management System for a Multicenter Palliative Care Cohort Study.

Year of Publication

2022

Date Published

2022 Mar 23

ISSN Number

1873-6513

Abstract

<p><strong>CONTEXT: </strong>Prospective cohort studies of individuals with serious illness and their family members, such as children receiving palliative care and their parents, pose challenges regarding data management.</p>

<p><strong>OBJECTIVE: </strong>To describe the design and lessons learned regarding the data management system for the Pediatric Palliative Care Research Network's SHAred Data and REsearch (SHARE) project, a multicenter prospective cohort study of children receiving pediatric palliative care (PPC) and their parents, and to describe important attributes of this system, with specific considerations for the design of future studies.</p>

<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>The SHARE study consists of 643 PPC patients and up to two of their parents who enrolled from April 2017 to December 2020 at 7 children's hospitals across the United States. Data regarding demographics, patient symptoms, goals of care, and other characteristics were collected directly from parents or patients at 6 timepoints over a 24-month follow-up period and stored electronically in a centralized location. Using medical record numbers, primary collected data was linked to administrative hospitalization data containing diagnostic and procedure codes and other data elements. Important attributes of the data infrastructure include linkage of primary and administrative data; centralized availability of multilingual questionnaires; electronic data collection and storage system; time-stamping of instrument completion; and a separate but connected study administrative database used to track enrollment.</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSIONS: </strong>Investigators planning future multicenter prospective cohort studies can consider attributes of the data infrastructure we describe when designing their data management system.</p>

DOI

10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2022.03.006

Alternate Title

J Pain Symptom Manage

PMID

35339611

Title

Association Between Children With Life-Threatening Conditions and Their Parents' and Siblings' Mental and Physical Health.

Year of Publication

2021

Number of Pages

e2137250

Date Published

2021 Dec 01

ISSN Number

2574-3805

Abstract

<p><strong>Importance: </strong>Despite concerns regarding the potential deleterious physical and mental health outcomes among family members of a child with a life-threatening condition (LTC), few studies have examined empirical measures of health outcomes among these family members.</p>

<p><strong>Objectives: </strong>To examine whether mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers of children with 1 of 4 types of pediatric LTCs have higher rates of health care encounters, diagnoses, and prescriptions compared with families of children without these conditions.</p>

<p><strong>Design, Setting, and Participants: </strong>This retrospective cohort study included US families with commercial insurance coverage from a single carrier. Children who had 1 of 4 LTCs (substantial prematurity, critical congenital heart disease, cancer, or a condition resulting in severe neurologic impairment) were identified by a diagnosis in their insurance claim data between July 1, 2015, and June 30, 2016. Each case child and their family was matched with up to 4 control children and their families based on the age of the case and control children. Data were analyzed between August 2020 and March 2021.</p>

<p><strong>Exposures: </strong>Having a child or sibling with substantial prematurity, critical congenital heart disease, cancer, or a condition resulting in severe and progressive neurologic impairment.</p>

<p><strong>Main Outcomes: </strong>Rates of occurrence of health care encounters, physical and mental health diagnoses, and physical and mental health medication prescriptions, identified from insurance claims data, were compared between case and control families using a multivariable negative binomial regression model. The statistical analysis adjusted for observed differences between case and control families and accounted for clustering at the family level.</p>

<p><strong>Results: </strong>The study included 25 528 children (6909 case children [27.1%] and 18 619 control children [72.9%]; median age, 6.0 years [IQR, 1-13 years]; 13 294 [52.1%] male), 43 357 parents (11 586 case parents [26.7%] and 31 771 control parents [73.3%]; mean [SD] age, 40.4 [8.1] years; 22 318 [51.5%] female), and 25 706 siblings (7664 case siblings [29.8%] and 18 042 control siblings [70.2%]; mean [SD] age, 12.1 [6.5] years; 13 114 [51.0%] male). Overall, case mothers had higher rates of the composite outcome of health care encounters, diagnoses, and prescriptions compared with control mothers (incident rate ratio [IRR], 1.61; 95% CI, 1.54-1.68), as did case fathers compared with control fathers (IRR, 1.55; 95% CI, 1.46-1.64). Sisters of children with LTCs had higher rates of the composite outcome compared with sisters of children without LTCs (IRR, 1.68; 95% CI, 1.55-1.82), as did brothers of children with LTCs compared with brothers of children without LTCs (IRR, 1.70; 95% CI, 1.56-1.85).</p>

<p><strong>Conclusions and Relevance: </strong>In this cohort study, mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers who had a child or sibling with 1 of 4 types of LTCs had higher rates of health care encounters, diagnoses, and medication prescriptions compared with families who did not have a child with that condition. The findings suggest that family members of children with LTCs may experience poorer mental and physical health outcomes. Interventions for parents and siblings of children with LTCs that aim to safeguard their mental and physical well-being appear to be warranted.</p>

DOI

10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.37250

Alternate Title

JAMA Netw Open

PMID

34928360

Title

Pediatric palliative care parents' distress, financial difficulty, and child symptoms.

Year of Publication

2021

Date Published

2021 Aug 20

ISSN Number

1873-6513

Abstract

<p><strong>CONTEXT: </strong>Parents of patients with a serious illness experience psychological distress, which impacts parents' wellbeing and, potentially, their ability to care for their children. Parent psychological distress may be influenced by children's symptom burden and by families' financial difficulty.</p>

<p><strong>OBJECTIVES: </strong>This study examined the associations among parent psychological distress, parent-reported patient symptoms, and financial difficulty, seeking to determine the relative association of financial difficulty and of patient symptoms to parent psychological distress.</p>

<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>Cross-sectional study of baseline data for 601 parents of 532 pediatric palliative care patients enrolled in a prospective cohort study conducted at seven US children's hospitals. Data included self-reported parent psychological distress and parent report of child's symptoms and family financial difficulty. We used ordinary least squares multiple regressions to examine the association between psychological distress and symptom score, between psychological distress and financial difficulty, and whether the degree of financial difficulty modified the relationship between psychological distress and symptom score.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>The majority of parents were moderately distressed (52%) or severely distressed (17%) and experienced some degree of financial difficulty (65%). While children's symptom scores and family financial difficulty together explained more of the variance in parental psychological distress than either variable alone, parental distress was associated more strongly, and to a larger degree, with financial difficulty than with symptom scores alone.</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSIONS: </strong>Parent psychological distress was associated with parent-reported patient symptoms and financial difficulty. Future work should examine these relationships longitudinally, and whether interventions to improve symptom management and ameliorate financial difficulties improve parental outcomes.</p>

DOI

10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2021.08.004

Alternate Title

J Pain Symptom Manage

PMID

34425212

Title

Developing a family-reported measure of experiences with home-based pediatric palliative and hospice care: a multi-method, multi-stakeholder approach.

Year of Publication

2021

Number of Pages

17

Date Published

2021 Jan 14

ISSN Number

1472-684X

Abstract

<p><strong>BACKGROUND: </strong>Many children with serious illnesses are receiving palliative and end-of-life care from pediatric palliative and hospice care teams at home (PPHC@Home). Despite the growth in PPHC@Home, no standardized measures exist to evaluate whether PPHC@Home provided in the U.S. meets the needs and priorities of children and their families.</p>

<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>We developed and conducted a preliminary evaluation of a family-reported measure of PPHC@Home experiences using a multi-method, multi-stakeholder approach. Our instrument development process consisted of four phases. Item identification and development (Phase 1) involved a comprehensive literature search of existing instruments, guidelines, standards of practice, and PPHC@Home outcome studies, as well as guidance from a PPHC stakeholder panel. Phase 2 involved the initial item prioiritization and reduction using a discrete choice experiment (DCE) with PPHC professionals and parent advocates. Phase 3 involved a second DCE with bereaved parents and parents currently receiving care for their child to further prioritize and winnow the items to a set of the most highly-valued items. Finally, we conducted cognitive interviews with parents to provide information about the content validity and clarity of the newly-developed instrument (Phase 4).</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>Items were compiled predominantly from three existing instruments. Phase 2 participants included 34 PPHC providers, researchers, and parent advocates; Phase 3 participants included 47 parents; and Phase 4 participants included 11 parents. At the completion of Phase 4, the Experiences of Palliative and Hospice Care for Children and Caregivers at Home (EXPERIENCE@Home) Measure contains 22 of the most highly-valued items for evaluating PPHC@Home. These items include "The care team treats my child's physical symptoms so that my child has as good a quality of life as possible", "I have regular access to on-call services from our care team", and "The nurses have the knowledge, skills, and experience to support my child's palliative or hospice care at home."</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSIONS: </strong>The EXPERIENCE@Home Measure is the first known to specifically measure family-reported experiences with PPHC@Home in the U.S. Future work will include formal psychometric evaluation with a larger sample of parents, as well as evaluation of the clinical utility of the instrument with PPHC@Home teams.</p>

DOI

10.1186/s12904-020-00703-0

Alternate Title

BMC Palliat Care

PMID

33446192

Title

What do parents value regarding pediatric palliative and hospice care in the home setting?

Year of Publication

2020

Date Published

2020 Jul 31

ISSN Number

1873-6513

Abstract

<p><strong>CONTEXT: </strong>Children with life-shortening serious illnesses and medically complex care needs are often cared for by their families at home. Little, however, is known about what aspects of pediatric palliative and hospice care in the home setting (PPHC@Home) families value the most.</p>

<p><strong>OBJECTIVE: </strong>To explore how parents rate and prioritize domains of PPHC@Home as the first phase of a larger study that developed a parent-reported measure of experiences with PPHC@Home.</p>

<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>Twenty domains of high-value PPHC@Home, derived from the National Consensus Project's Guidelines for Quality Palliative Care, the literature, and a stakeholder panel, were evaluated. Using a discrete choice experiment, parents provided their ratings of the most and least valued PPHC@Home domains. We also explored potential differences in how subgroups of parents rated the domains.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>Forty-seven parents participated. Overall, highest-rated domains included Physical Aspects of Care: Symptom Management, Psychological/Emotional Support for the Child, and Care Coordination. Lowest-rated domains included Spiritual and Religious Aspects of Care and Cultural Aspects of Care. In exploratory analyses, parents who had other children rated the Psychological/Emotional Aspects of Care for the Sibling(s) domain significantly higher than parents who did not have other children (P=0.02). Furthermore, bereaved parents rated the Caregiver Supportat the End of Life domain significantly higher than parents who were currently caring for their child (P=0.04). No other significant differences in domain ratings were observed.</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSIONS: </strong>Knowing what parents value most about PPHC@Home provides the foundation for further exploration and conversation about priority areas for resource allocation and care improvement efforts.</p>

DOI

10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2020.07.024

Alternate Title

J Pain Symptom Manage

PMID

32745574

Title

The Association of Perceived Social Support with Anxiety over Time in Parents of Children with Serious Illnesses.

Year of Publication

2019

Date Published

2019 Nov 07

ISSN Number

1557-7740

Abstract

<p> Parenting a child with a serious life-threatening illness (SLTI) may impact parents' mental health. The protective association of social support with anxiety over time following an acute medical event has not been empirically tested in a sample of parents of children with oncologic and nononcologic serious illnesses. To test the potential association of perceived social support with anxiety in parents of children with SLTIs over time. Prospective cohort study. Two hundred parents of 158 children in the Decision Making in Serious Pediatric Illness study, conducted at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Parental anxiety and perceived social support were assessed using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and the Social Provisions Scale (SPS). We performed bivariate linear regressions to test cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between the SPS and anxiety scores at baseline, 12 months, and 24 months. The average SPS total and subscale scores decreased significantly from baseline to 12 months, and increased from 12 to 24 months. The average HADS-Anxiety scores decreased significantly from baseline to 12 months, and remained stable at 24 months. Cross-sectionally, total SPS scores were negatively associated with anxiety scores at each time point. Longitudinally, SPS scores were associated with anxiety scores, although this association weakened in adjusted modeling. Over a two-year period, higher levels of perceived social support were associated with lower levels of anxiety in parents of seriously ill children. Clinicians and researchers should work to optimize social support for families to improve parental mental health outcomes.</p>

DOI

10.1089/jpm.2019.0387

Alternate Title

J Palliat Med

PMID

31697175

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