Pediatric Palliative Care in the Multicultural Context: Findings From a Workshop Conference

Abby R. Rosenberg, Kira Bona, Tumaini Coker, Chris Feudtner, Kelli Houston, Anisa Ibrahim, Robert Macauley, Joanne Wolfe, Ross Hays

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Context: In our increasingly multicultural society, providing sensitive and respectful pediatric palliative care is vital. Objectives: We held a one-day workshop conference with stakeholders and pediatric clinicians to identify suggestions for navigating conflict when cultural differences are present and for informing standard care delivery. Methods: Participants explored cases in one of four workshops focused on differences based on race/ethnicity, economic disparity, religion/spirituality, or family values. Each workshop was facilitated by two authors; separate transcriptionists recorded workshop discussions in real time. We used content analyses to qualitatively evaluate the texts and generate recommendations. Results: Participants included 142 individuals representing over six unique disciplines, 25 of the U.S., and three nations. Although the conference focused on pediatric palliative care, findings were broadly generalizable to most medical settings. Participants identified key reasons cultural differences may create tension and then provided frameworks for communication, training, and clinical care. Specifically, recommendations included phrases to navigate emotional conflict, broken trust, unfamiliar family values, and conflict. Suggested approaches to training and clinical care included the development of core competencies in communication, history taking, needs assessment, and emotional intelligence. Important opportunities for scholarship included qualitative studies exploring diverse patient and family experiences, quantitative studies examining health disparities, and randomized clinical trials testing interventions designed to improve community partnerships, communication, or child health outcomes. Conclusion: Taken together, findings provide a foundation for collaboration between patients, families, and clinicians of all cultures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)846-855.e2
JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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