An estimation of the number of children requiring pediatric palliative care in Italy

F. Benini, M. Bellentani, L. Reali, P. Lazzarin, L. De Zen, F. Pellegatta, P.L. Aprile, G. Scaccabarozzi

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Background: Pediatric palliative care (PPC) addresses the physical and psychological needs of children suffering from life-limiting diseases. To define prevention and educational plans and to properly allocate resources, a precise estimation of the PPC burden is required. Objectives: To estimate the current number of children requiring PPC in Italy, useful to assist policy-makers and healthcare bodies in the organization and allocation of PPC resources. Methods: Literature data, The Global Atlas of Palliative Care at the End of Life and Italian national databases have been consulted. Results: According to our estimation, at present, a total of 20,540–32,864 children in Italy require PPC (34–54 children/100,000 inhabitants) of whom 18 children/100,000 inhabitants require specialized PPC. Conclusions: The present work is a fundamental tool to be used by the institutions, the local networks of PPC and the health programmers when formulating organizational models and care plans consistent with the actual need for PPC.

Original languageEnglish
JournalItalian Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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