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SAGE Palliative Medicine & Chronic Care

Jun 7, 2023

This episode features Hannah May Scott (Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing Midwifery and Palliative Care, Cicely Saunders Institute, King’s College London, London, UK).


What is already known about the topic?

- Although spiritual concerns are recognised as a core component of palliative care for children, there is a paucity of primary data.

- Self-report data from children is rare, and existing evidence is largely proxy data from parents or health and social care professionals and mainly focused on the religious aspect of spiritual care for cancer patients.


What this paper adds?

- Specific spiritual concerns among children with a range of life-limiting and life-threatening conditions and their families (parents and siblings) included: living life to the fullest, meaning of life and leaving a legacy, uncertainty about the future, determination to survive, accepting or fighting the future and role of religion.

- This work broadens understanding of the spiritual domain for these children beyond religious needs to existential and value-based spiritual concerns.

- Recognition of the way in which children conceptualise spirituality and being able to identify their spiritual concerns is essential for child- and family-centred holistic palliative and end-of-life care.


Implications for practice, theory, or policy

- Professionals can optimise children and family’s wellbeing through identification of the things that provide meaning for them, and working together to set goals and actions towards achieving them.

- Such concerns must be assessed beyond religious considerations.

- Simple tools and training to support professional may be useful in implementing this.

 Full paper available from:

 If you would like to record a podcast about your published (or accepted) Palliative Medicine paper, please contact Dr Amara Nwosu: