Rare Disease Report

Pediatric Palliative Care in Rural Areas

MAY 09, 2017
Anthony Herbert, M.D.

Dr Anthony Herbert, staff specialist in pediatric palliative care at Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in Brisbane, Australia talks about a pilot project in which palliative care specialists in urban areas provide educational services to health professionals in non-urban areas about palliative care. The program teaches health professionals in rural areas on methods to help families adapt to palliative care and the possible death of a child. 

As Dr Herbert explains in this video, the program usually involves 2 or 3 members of an inter-professional team based in the city who travel to the town or small community where the child lives and they provide education to local health professionals providing support for that child. That support can be at any phase of the illness, from the diagnosis, to a time of deterioration, or in preparation for end-of-life care.  
To date, the program has improved the knowledge and confidence of participants to:
  • manage symptoms (pain, nausea, dyspnoea, seizures, and anxiety)
  • manage a new referral 
  • be aware of available resources
  • be confident in how to help a family prepare for a child’s death
  • confidence in the provision of medications to children’s receiving palliative care (including subcutaneous delivery).


Herbert A, Irving H, Pedersen, LA, et al. Quality of care collaborative for paediatric palliative care in Australia (QuoCCA). Presented at the ASPHO Annual Meeting; Montreal, Canada; April 26-29, 2017.

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