The goal of the Pathways to Enhanced Pediatric Palliative Care research program is to examine and enhance the quality of palliative care provided to children living with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

What is Pediatric Palliative Care ?

Pediatric palliative care focuses on alleviating the physical, social, psychological, and spiritual suffering experienced by children and families while promoting quality of life, fostering family connections, and sustaining hope despite the possibility of death. It is a family-centered approach that includes shared decision-making and sensitivity to the family’s cultural and spiritual values, beliefs, and practices. The principles of palliative care can and should be incorporated from diagnosis of any life-threatening illness and continue throughout the disease to ensure relief of suffering and good quality of life regardless of whether the child is ultimately cured of the disease or not.

Why Pathways?

I use the term pathways to describe my program of research because of the many routes that need to be explored through research to enhance the quality of pediatric palliative care. In particular, my program of research is focused on three paths: 1) synthesis of existing knowledge, 2) creation of new knowledge, and 3) translation of knowledge into best clinical practices.

Path One

Knowledge Synthesis

Knowledge Synthesis is about pulling together all of the information that we already have about a specific topic to find out what we already know, and what we still need to find out.

Path Two

Knowledge Creation

Knowledge Creation is about doing new research to fill in the gaps of what we still don’t know about a topic. 

Path 3

Knowledge Translation

Knowledge Translation is about making sure that knowledge created through research is actually shared with the children, families, health professionals, or policy makers who can benefit from it.