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"Til the wheels fall off": Multicultural care for young people facing the end of their life.

Oral Presentation

October 13th 2022 at 9:30am

Institution: Queensland Children's Hospital - Queensland, Australia

Background: Paediatric Palliative Care involves the delivery of active care of mind, body and spirit to young people with life limiting conditions from diverse cultural backgrounds. The shared goal of care is enabling young people to live as well as they can, for as long as they can in their local community, within the limits imposed by the child's illness, while also preparing the family for bereavement.
Recent Australian census data reveals families are culturally and religiously diverse speaking more than 180 languages and adopting over 110 religious beliefs. While culturally sensitive training is required for healthcare professionals, the practicalities, clinical skills and/or religious needs of young people and their families are poorly understood and described.
Aim: To document and describe learnings from the provision of culturally supportive care in a Regional Hospital's Children's ward for a young Maori person dying from an oncological illness.
Methods: This qualitative study used three approaches to understand how healthcare professionals delivered culturally safe care to a young person with a life limiting condition and his family.
A Phenomenological approach explored the collaborative skills, roles and responsibilities of healthcare professionals in tailoring culturally sensitive care and the impact of this on the young person and family through interviews and learnings of the cultural impact of this care.
A descriptive single case study and inclusion of photographic ethnography was used to highlight the possibilities for young people and their families who receive culturally sensitive and capable palliative care.
Results: The learnings from this case study highlight the importance of increased focus and training for healthcare professionals to ensure ongoing culturally sensitive care delivery to young people and their families.


  • Miss Karen Joy

    Clinical Nurse Consultant QLD Paediatric Palliative Care Service - Brisbane

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