Purpose: Although the hospital remains the dominant site for delivering most pediatric cancer care, home-based care is increasingly provided. To effectively deliver comprehensive, relevant, and acceptable care in children’s homes, the voices of these key informants must be considered. We examined the views of children with cancer, their family caregivers, and clinicians on home-based cancer care to identify necessary strategies to improve the delivery of care.
Methods: Children with cancer, their family caregivers, and multiprofessional clinicians who provide care at a tertiary pediatric care center or in the community participated in audio-recorded, semistructured interviews in French and English. Interviews were conducted until data saturation in each participant group was achieved. Interviews were transcribed, coded, and analyzed using thematic analysis.
Results: Thirteen children, 20 family caregivers, and 22 clinicians participated. Home-based care was endorsed as a means to improve child health-, family social- and financial-, and system-level outcomes. The success of a home-based model is built on care that addresses child and family informational, treatment and care, material, and psychosocial needs. Mechanisms to improve care include enhanced homecare agency-hospital-family communication, training for homecare nurses in pediatric cancer care, virtual solutions, and an expanded breadth of services provided in-home. Child-, family-, and system-related factors affect the delivery of optimal home-based care.
Conclusion: Children, families, and clinicians value a model of pediatric cancer care that incorporates home-based services. The insights of these key informants should be reflected in the principles that become the basis of home-based cancer care best practices.
Investigator, CHEO Research Institute