Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Identify all potential conflicts of interest that might be relevant to your comment.
Conflicts of interest comprise financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including but not limited to employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speaker's bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued.
Err on the side of full disclosure.
If you have no conflicts of interest, check "No potential conflicts of interest" in the box below. The information will be posted with your response.
Not all submitted comments are published. Please see our commenting policy for details.
Lord S, Moore C, Beatty M, et al. Assessment of Bereaved Caregiver Experiences of Advance Care Planning for Children With Medical Complexity. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(7):e2010337. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.10337
How do bereaved family caregivers describe their experiences with advance care planning for children with medical complexity?
In this qualitative study that included 13 parents of children with medical complexity, participants emphasized the importance of involving trusted health care professionals and incorporating parental expertise to guide advance care planning. The relative shock parents experienced regarding the timing of the child’s death, despite recurrent experiences with life-threatening events, and the multiple losses they experienced when the child with a large health care team died were important themes.
The perspectives of bereaved parents in this study revealed important themes that should be considered for future study of advance care planning for children with medical complexity.
Advance care planning (ACP) is the process of discussing values and preferences for care to help inform medical decision-making. Children with medical complexity (CMC) often have a shortened life span with an unpredictable clinical course and timing of death; however, there is a paucity of literature that describes the experience of ACP from the perspective of bereaved family caregivers of CMC.
To explore the experiences of bereaved family caregivers with ACP for CMC.
Design, Setting, and Participants
This qualitative study included 12 interviews with 13 bereaved family caregivers of CMC whose deaths had occurred in the 5 years before study commencement (2013-2018). Participants were recruited at a single tertiary care pediatric center; CMC were treated by the Complex Care or Long-term Ventilation clinic in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Data were collected from July to October 2018. Thematic analysis with an inductive approach was used.
Qualitative interviews were conducted using purposive sampling of bereaved family caregivers using semistructured interviews that were recorded and transcribed. Interviews were conducted until saturation was reached.
Main Outcomes and Measures
Transcripts were analyzed to create themes that characterized caregiver experiences with ACP.
A total of 13 family caregivers were interviewed in 12 interviews, all of whom were parents (12 [92%] women, 1 [8%] man) of a deceased child (aged 7 months to 12 years). Themes were divided in the 3 following categories, which align with the Donabedian model for health service quality: (1) structure of care, (2) ACP process, and (3) end-of-life experience. Notable subthemes for this population included the importance of accounting for parental expertise in the child’s care, recurrent experiences with life-threatening events, relative shock of the timing of death, and the multiple losses that caregivers experienced.
Conclusions and Relevance
In this study, parental experiences revealed that there are key aspects of the structure of the child’s care, process around ACP, and end-of-life care experiences that provide important reflections on ACP that warrant future study.
Create a personal account or sign in to: