Bloomberg Nursing Assistant Professor Dr. Kimberley Widger has been awarded a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) grant for the project Patterns of Pediatric Palliative Care for All Children’s Costs, Outcomes, Health-care Utilization and Non-utilization Trajectories by CIHR’s Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health (IHDCYH). The study will receive $660,000 over the next 5 years.
Dr. Widger and co-investigators aim to recruit a cohort of 700 children in Ontario across 4 Pediatric Palliative Care (PPC) programs to address 3 research objectives:
- Document individual children’s trajectories of symptom burden, quality of life (QoL), goals of care, and health care use and costs over the course of 1 year in a PPC service and parents’ affective states and levels of distress;
- Examine the inter-relationships between patient and parent experiences and how they relate to health care use and costs over time; and
- Examine the effect of timing of referral to PPC referral on patient symptoms, QoL, parental distress, health care use, and costs
This study is important and timely, as the concept of palliative care is shifting away from the traditional focus on the last few weeks of life, to improving QoL with supports for families and children much earlier in their illness. With a better understanding of processes and outcomes, PPC may be incorporated to better support children and their families throughout their illness experience.
Data will be collected from patients and parents at four different time points: baseline, 2 months, 6 months and 12 months. Dr. Widger & co-investigators will collect comprehensive data about the child and family, then link data with healthcare administrative data from inpatient and inpatient and hospice encounters to estimate health care use and costs.
Learn more about Dr. Widger’s research on her website: http://kimwidger.ca/