Integrative pain medicine and palliative care at a US Children's Hospital pp. 35-48
Authors: Stefan J Friedrichsdorf, Christine Gibbon, Barb Symalla, Stacy Remke and Jody Chrastak
Abstract: State of the art management of pain and distressing symptoms in children in the 21st century requires the integration of pharmacology, medical interventions, and rehabilitation with integrative, non-pharmacological and supportive therapies. This article describes the care modules of the Pediatric Pain and Palliative Care Program at the Children‘s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, USA. This pediatric service provides an acute pain service, an interdisciplinary chronic pain clinic, and holistic, interdisciplinary care for children and teens with life-limiting or terminal diseases and their families. With 21 interdisciplinary professionals working exclusively in this program, it is the largest of its kind in North-America. One of the advantages of an integrated Pain and Palliative Care Program such as this one is the provision of care within a continuum from acute, chronic/complex pain to palliative care and hospice care. Integrated pediatric pain and palliative care services are still rare in children‘s hospitals worldwide. This example shows that integrated pediatric pain medicine and palliative care programs can be successfully implemented in a children‘s hospital setting.