Table 1: Characteristics of 11 studies comparing pediatric palliative care programs and usual care identified through the systematic review
StudyParticipantsStudy designObservation periodnIntervention groupComparison groupOutcome measures
Postier et al., 201418Age 1–21 yr
Enrolled in home PPCP/hospice program
RChBA*Before: 1 yr
After: 1 yr
425After PPCPBefore PPCPChange in no. of hospital admissions, LOS and total billed charges for hospital/ED stay
Fraser et al., 201311Age ≤ 19 yr
Death from cancer
RCSReferral to death497Hospice group
(n = 132)
Control group
(n = 311)
Total no. of hospital admissions, no. of planned hospital admissions, no. of emergency admissions
Keele et al., 201312Age < 18 yr
Death in hospital from any cause > 5 d after admission
RCSLast admission before death24 342PC group
(n = 919)
(n = 23 423)
Age, sex, LOS, major group category diagnostic, medications, procedures in last admission
Arland et al., 201310Age 1 mo–19 yr
Death from brain tumour
RChBA†Before: 5 yr
After: 10 yr
114After group
(n = 92)
Before group
(n = 22)
Symptoms, hospital admissions (no., LOS), location of death
Smith et al., 201319Children (age not defined)
Hospital costs after discharge were in top tenth percentile
RCS + RChBA*RCS: up to 2 yr
RChBA: undisclosed
1 001PPCP group
(n = 81)
Control group
(n = 920)
Cost, demographics, use of technology
Gans et al., 20125Age ≤ 20 yr
Life-threatening condition
Enrolled in PPCP
RChBA*Before: 12 mo‡
After: 18 mo
123After PPCPBefore PPCPLOS, medical expenditures, family’s quality of life and satisfaction
Pascuet et al., 201013Children (age not defined)
Used respite at pediatric hospice
RChBA*Before: 1 yr
After: 1 yr
66After respiteBefore respiteLOS, ED and outpatient visits, overall cost in hospital/hospice admission
Dussel et al., 200914Children (age not defined)
Death from cancer
XS survey + RCSLast month of life140Location of death planned
(n = 88)
Location of death not planned
(n = 52)
End-of-life planning, end-of-life support from physicians, use of home care, hospital resource utilization, place of death
Knapp et al., 200915Age 1–21 yr
Death from any cause
RCSLast year of life1 527Hospice
(n = 85)
No hospice
(n = 848)
Hospice use, hospice expenditures, other expenditures
Ward-Smith et al., 200817Children (no age bracket defined)
Enrolled in PPCP
RCS§6 mo before death18PPCP group
(n = 9)
Non-PPCP group (n = 9)Total hospital costs, LOS, differences in types of procedures
Belasco et al., 200016Children (no age bracket defined)
Referred to home PPCP
Case series1 d3Home careHospital careType of interventions delivered, place of death, comparison of charges of care

Note: ED = emergency department, LOS = length of stay, PC = palliative care, PPCP = pediatric palliative care program, RChBA = retrospective cohort before–after study with no control, RCS = retrospective cohort study, XS = cross-sectional study.
*The same patients were followed before and after the intervention with no controls.
†Different cohorts of patients were followed before and after the intervention (historical cohort comparison).
‡Length of “before” follow-up period unclear.
§Described by the authors as a case–control study but technically it was a cohort comparison.