Care at end of life influences grief: Needs and desires of bereaved parents in palliative end-of-life care in paediatric oncology

Eddy Carolina Pedraza Salcedo, University of Lucerne

Despite the enormous success in treatment of childhood cancer withdecreasing mortality and increasing survival rates of almost 80%, childhood cancer remains the second most frequent cause of death in children in developed countries. One in five children cannot be cured and dies of cancer. Pediatric palliative care (PPC) for children is often overlooked while the hope for cure is high. In this PhD project, we will focus specifically on the psychosocial implications of long-term bereaved parents who lost their child to cancer. Additionally, we will assess how PPC support for parents and family members extends after the death of the child. In the hospital setting, parental support is often institutionalized, but this can lack after hospital discharge. Moreover, one of the most common barriers to receiving support services is that parents experience difficulties in accessing those services. Hence, as parents face a long bereavement process that continues long after the death of their child, it is essential that there is a well-established and holistic PPC. The project will help to provide the necessary information to establish the support services needed.

Keywords: Palliative care, Pediatric oncology, Parental needs.

Short Biography

Carolina Pedraza is a Medical Doctor from Colombia. She earned her degree as General Physician (Cum Laude) at the Nueva Granada Military University in Bogotá, Colombia. Before continuing her clinical work at the Pediatrics Department in a public hospital in Bogotá, she worked in several research projects. She completed her specialization in Pediatrics at the Fundación Universitaria Sanitas in Bogotá in 2017. Since then, she has been working as a general pediatrician with a special interest in the holistic needs of the patients and their families. Currently, Carolina is working as a PhD student at the University of Lucerne, Switzerland. Her PhD project focuses on the needs and desires of bereaved parents in palliative end-of life care in Pediatric Oncology.

Eddy Carolina Pedraza Salcedo

Eddy Carolina Pedraza Salcedo
Department of Health Sciences and Medicine
University of Lucerne

Personal Website

Supervisor: Gisela Michel

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