Original Article| Volume 63, ISSUE 6, P962-970, June 2022

Delphi Method to Develop a Palliative Care Tool for Children and Families in Sub-Saharan Africa



      In sub-Saharan Africa, there is no standardized approach to pediatric palliative care assessment. Because of this, there is a critical demand for evidence-based assessment tools that identify the specialized needs of children and their families requiring palliative care in developing countries.


      To develop a standardized approach to pediatric palliative care (PPC) assessment that includes an individualized plan of care for use in sub-Saharan Africa.


      A Delphi method approach used five rounds to explore core elements that define the essential assessment attributes mandatory for providing excellence in PPC. Using the Delphi method, the consensus from 11 PPC experts was obtained during four Delphi rounds regarding the most important questions to include in a PPC assessment tool and plan of care. During the final Delphi round 5, the expert consensus was confirmed in a separate group of 36 childhood cancer/palliative care clinical providers.


      Five core elements were developed as the foundation for a PPC assessment. A symptom assessment tool was developed that includes 15 symptoms that PPC experts agreed occurred more than 65% of the time in their patients.


      The Delphi method was an effective tool to develop a consensus on a PPC assessment tool to use with children and their families in sub-Saharan Africa. This standardized approach will enable the collection of data to drive outcomes and research.

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