Exploring the experiences and perspectives of families using a children’s hospice and professionals providing hospice care to identify future research priorities for children’s hospice care.

C Malcolm, L Forbat, Katherine Knighting, K Kearney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)


The main objective of this study is to generate a list of priority topics for children’s hospice care research in Scotland from the perspective of its key stakeholders. The method consists of qualitative semi-structured interviews with families using hospice services (n = 5), four focus groups with hospice staff and volunteers (n = 44) and telephone interviews with professionals associated with the hospice (n = 18). Fourteen broad themes emerged following thematic content and interpretive analysis of the interview data. Some of the research themes were specific to certain stakeholder groups, whereas other themes were identified unanimously across all the stakeholder groups as being priority areas for future research. Increasing awareness of and improving access to children’s hospice care, hospice and respite care needs of young people, community/home care and issues related to supporting the wider family arose, independently, in all three stakeholder groups as being priority topics for future research. In conclusion, a greater evidence base is required in the field of children’s palliative care and the topics researched should be identified and led by those most closely involved in the hospices. Engaging families and care providers in the process of identifying research priorities resulted in the development of an extensive research agenda, which will contribute to quality hospice care for children and families.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)921-928
JournalPalliative Medicine
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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