First name
Blyth
Middle name
T
Last name
Lord

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

Parents as Advocates for Pediatric Palliative Care.

Year of Publication

2021

Date Published

2021 Oct 01

ISSN Number

1098-4275

Abstract

<p>Caring for a child with a serious or life-limiting illness presents many challenges for families and health care providers. Through that experience (and, many times, as it ends), parents are compelled to find and make meaning from their ultimate loss and the many losses along the way. In this Advocacy Case Study, we describe the experiences that led a bereaved mother to seek to harness the insights from her own family's loss to help support other families facing the challenges and complexities of a child's serious illness. Her family initially established a family foundation to advocate for palliative care. She later partnered with her family's general pediatrician and the American Academy of Pediatrics to educate providers and bring parent voices to health care provider discussions. This work eventually led to the development of the Courageous Parents Network, a nonprofit focused on making these parent and provider voices widely available to families and providers through a Web-based collection of videos, blogs, podcasts, and printable guides. Through these insights, the organization addresses feelings of isolation, anxiety, and grief. In addition, these voices illustrate the power and benefits of the growing acceptance of pediatric palliative care practices. Important lessons learned through these efforts include: (1) the power of stories for validation, healing, and understanding; (2) opportunity to extend the reach of pediatric palliative care through provider education and skill-building; (3) critical importance of the parent-provider advocacy collaboration; and (4) necessity of market testing and continuous improvement.</p>

DOI

10.1542/peds.2021-052054

Alternate Title

Pediatrics

PMID

34599007

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

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