Inadequate pain management in community paediatric palliative care is common. Evidence to inform improved pain management in this population is limited.
To explore the barriers and facilitators to paediatric community-based pain management for infants, children and young people at end-of-life as perceived by healthcare professionals.
A qualitative interview study was conducted. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 29 healthcare professionals; 12 nurses, five GPs, five consultants and registrar doctors, two pharmacists and five support therapists working in primary, secondary or tertiary care in the United Kingdom and involved in community end-of life care of 0-18-year-olds.
The data corpus was analysed using an inductive thematic analysis and seven themes emerged: parents’ abilities, beliefs and wellbeing; working relationships between families and healthcare professionals, and between healthcare teams; healthcare professionals’ knowledge, education and experience; health services delivery; nature of pain treatment; and paediatric-specific factors. Across themes, the concepts of partnership working between families and healthcare professionals, and within healthcare teams, and sharing expertise were prevalent.
Partnership working and trust between healthcare professionals and parents, and within healthcare teams, is needed for effective at-home paediatric palliative pain management. Community healthcare professionals require more education from experienced multidisciplinary teams to effectively manage paediatric pain at end-of-life and prevent emergency hospice or hospital admissions, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc.