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Impact of a Pediatric Palliative Care Program on the Caregiver ExperienceAn article published in the December 2015 issue of the Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing shows that caregivers of children with serious illnesses also receive benefits from palliative care.

The article, Impact of a Pediatric Palliative Care Program on the Caregiver Experience, takes a look at the California pediatric palliative care waiver Partners for Children (PFC)—a Medi-Cal program currently available in nine California counties.

The PFC program enables children with qualifying life-threatening conditions to receive palliative (comfort) care in their homes in addition to medical treatment that may prolong their lives or cure their illness.

According the to the article, palliative care:

“… is a promising tool to enhance care for children with life-threatening health conditions and reduce caregiver stress and worry.”

Read an abstract from the article here.

The PFC Palliative Care Benefit evolved from the work of the Children’s Hospice & Palliative Care Coalition (CHPCC). In 2006, CHPCC helped pass the Nick Snow Children’s Hospice and Palliative Care Act (AB 1745). The bill mandated California to seek a waiver from a federal law requiring children to have a life-expectancy of six months or less and to stop all curative or life-prolonging medical treatment in order to receive hospice care. CHPCC partnered with the Department of Health Care Services to create the PFC program.

Enrollment into PFC is not contingent on life expectancy. Many children receiving PFC services have been enrolled in the program for several years and have experienced significant improvement in quality of life and personal well-being. Earlier studies of PFC reported a significant reduction in hospitalization and length of stay.

Learn more about CHPCC’s work on the Partners For Children program here.

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