Pediatric Oncology Palliative Care: Experiences of General Practitioners and Bereaved Parents | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2165-7386

Journal of Palliative Care & Medicine
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Research Article

Pediatric Oncology Palliative Care: Experiences of General Practitioners and Bereaved Parents

Sue J. Neilson1,3*, Faith Gibson2 and Sheila M Greenfield3

1Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Steelhouse Lane, Birmingham, B4 6NH, UK

2Centre for Outcomes and Experience Research in Children’s Health, Illness and Disability, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust, Faculty of Health and Social Care, London South Bank University, 103 Borough Road, SE1 0AA, London

3School of Health and Population Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK

*Corresponding Author:
Sue J. Neilson
Pediatric Oncology Outreach Team
Heslop House, Birmingham Children’s
Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Steelhouse Lane, Birmingham
B4 6NH, UK
Tel: 0121 333 8697
Fax: 0121 333 8681
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: February 27, 2015; Accepted date: March 9, 2015; Published date: March 26, 2015

Citation: Neilson SJ, Gibson F, Greenfield SM (2015) Pediatric Oncology Palliative Care: Experiences of General Practitioners and Bereaved Parents. J Palliat Care Med 5:214. doi: 10.4172/2165-7386.1000214

Copyright: ©2015 Neilson SJ, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Objective: This qualitative study set in the West Midlands region of the United Kingdom, aimed to examine the role of the general practitioner (GP) in children's oncology palliative care from the perspective of GPs who had cared for a child with cancer receiving palliative care at home and bereaved parents. Methods: One-to-one semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 18 GPs and 11 bereaved parents following the death. A grounded theory data analysis was undertaken; identifying generated themes through chronological comparative data analysis. Results: Similarity in GP and parent viewpoints was found, the GPs role seen as one of providing medication and support. Time pressures GPs faced influenced their level of engagement with the family during palliative and bereavement care and their ability to address their identified learning deficits. Lack of familiarity with the family, coupled with an acknowledgment that it was a rare and could be a frightening experience, also influenced their level of interaction. There was no consistency in GP practice nor evidence of practice being guided by local or national policies. Parents lack of clarity of their GPs role resulted in missed opportunities for support. Conclusions: Time pressures influence GP working practices. Enhanced communication and collaboration between the GP and regional childhood cancer centre may help address identified GP challenges, such as learning deficits, and promote more time-efficient working practices through role clarity. Parents need greater awareness of their GP's wide-ranging role; one that transcends palliative care incorporating bereavement support and on-going medical care for family members