Chapter

The psychological impact of life-limiting conditions on the child

Jan Aldridge and Barbara M. Sourkes

in Oxford Textbook of Palliative Care for Children

Second edition

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199595105
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199665020 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780199595105.003.0008

Series: Oxford Textbooks In Palliative Medicine

The psychological impact of life-limiting conditions on the child

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Support is garnered from a variety of sources depending on the individual. This may include family, friends, faith groups, pets, and members of the professional team, as well as such sources as art, music, and literature. Support can be a part of psychological input, but it does not encompass the range of psychological work and interventions that are available to the children and their families in palliative care. Ideally, psychological care would be considered throughout the illness trajectory. The psychological status of each child with palliative care needs would be regularly evaluated in order to plan for and provide optimal care, in the same way as medical and nursing needs are kept under review. The children`s needs are multi-faceted and adjustment is not static. The danger, without review, is that the ability to contribute in a timely fashion may be missed. Mental health disciplines such as clinical psychology and psychiatry provide specialized knowledge and skills. Specific interventions include evaluation of the child’s psychological state, recognition of psychological symptomatology and disturbance, the role of psychotherapy and psychotropic medication, and consultation for families and the team. The healthy siblings are included within this network of care. Thus, under optimal circumstances, psychological input can play a pivotal role in the integration of the child’s comprehensive palliative care.

Chapter.  9845 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Paediatrics ; Palliative Medicine

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