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Centro Regionale Veneto di Terapia Antalgica e Cure Palliative Pediatriche, Dipartimento di Pediatria, Università di Padova
*Osservatorio Regionale Veneto della Patologia in età pediatrica, Dipartimento di Pediatria, Università di Padova
Indirizzo per corrispondenza: email@example.com
Key words: Palliative care, Residential assistance, Domiciliary assistance, Paediatric hospice
Children suffering from terminal disease, as well as their families, show complex and peculiar needs. They require competent, organised and continuous support from a team of paediatric palliative care. WHO defines paediatric palliative care as the active global care of body, mind and soul of children, encompassing the active support to their families. Its objective is the quality of life of the little patient and his family. In Italy there are 11,000-12,000 children suffering from incurable diseases, of whom 1,100-1,200 die every year. Up to now, the assistance to these patients is mostly given in hospitals, especially in intensive care departments. There are few pilot experiences on paediatric palliative care in Italy. The assistance models studied at national and international level are essentially two: residential (with hospitalization in paediatric hospices or intensive care departments) and domiciliary (domiciliary hospitalization with integrated assistance). None of these models alone is optimal. A joint utilisation of the two assistance models is auspicable and can better meet the needs of the child according to his clinical evolution. Training, research and organisation are the necessary pillars to face such a complex problem.
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