Evidence Based Practice Clinical Guideline Review

Clinical Practice Guidelines for Quality Palliative Care, 4th Edition

Author(s): National Coalition for Hospice and Palliative Care


Citation: National Consensus Project for Quality Palliative Care. Clinical Practice Guidelines for Quality Palliative Care, 4th edition. Richmond, VA: National Coalition for Hospice and Palliative Care; 2018

Method of Review: A subcommittee of the Evidence Based Practice and Research Committee of the Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses conducted a group review of the guidelines using the AGREE II criteria1. The committee had an overall assessment of approval for endorsement.

Review Summary: Palliative care is a critical component of nursing care in Pediatric Hematology and Oncology. The Guidelines for Quality Palliative Care were written originally in 2004 and updated in 2009 and 2013. The new 2018 4th edition improves on previous editions and may be used by caregivers working with seriously ill patients to develop standards for high level, interdisciplinary care. They are written to be applicable in a generalist setting and not just the specialty of palliative care.

Specific references to the palliative care of neonates and children have been added throughout the document. The role of children and adolescents in treatment decisions, the developmental issues of this population and their unique needs, and family issues with an emphasis on parental preferences for their children are now a part of the guidelines. The pediatric population was included in all domains.
Key Research Evidence, and Practice Examples sections have been added to each of the eight domains to substantiate the basis for each recommendation, and to offer practical suggestions for how the guidelines may be applied in a variety of care settings.

These are thorough guidelines which cover a wide range of palliative care principles and best practices. Due to the complexity and extensive range of the guidelines, the recommendations are not specific and will need to be adapted when developing standards of care in a particular care setting.

Recommendation for use: Recommended for use in pediatric oncology.


1AGREE Next Steps Consortium (2009). The AGREE II Instrument [Electronic version]. Retrieved May, 2018, from www.agreetrust.org