Minor children of palliative patients: a systematic review of psychosocial family interventions.


Although the whole family is affected by a parent's palliative disease, palliative care research does not yet routinely consider patients' minor children. Children's and adolescents' psychosocial functioning may be impaired during prolonged parental disease with poor prognosis. Therefore, more and more health care providers are establishing clinical initiatives for families of palliative patients with minor children. However, the number of these family interventions, as well as their theoretical and empirical backgrounds and evidence base, has yet to be determined. The purpose of this study was to systematically review structured and published interventions for this target group, as well as empirical studies on these interventions. The evidence base and impact of interventions on families were considered. Literature published between 1980 and present focusing on psychosocial family-, child- or parent-centered interventions during palliative care was retrieved from PsycINFO®, Embase, MEDLINE®, CINAHL®, and PSYNDEX databases. Five interventions met the inclusion criteria. Programs focused on different populations, had diverse empirical and theoretical backgrounds and features, and were evaluated by studies of varying methodological quality. This systematic review illustrates the lack of well designed and elaborated intervention concepts and evaluation studies in this field, highlighting the necessity of conceptual and methodological rigor to inform clinical practice on a sustainable basis in the future.

Bibliografische Daten

StatusVeröffentlicht - 2012
pubmed 22849598