University of Minnesota Research Co-Authors Study on Adolescent Cancer Patients' Wishes

Jennifer Needle, MD, MPH, Associate Professor for the Department of Pediatrics and the Center for Bioethics, recently co-authored a study aimed at examining the values of adolescent cancer patients' end-of-life care in relation to their families' understanding of those needs. Study results showed that parents of teen cancer patients tend to have a poor understanding of when their teen would like to discuss end-of-life care. The majority of pediatric patients wanted to discuss their end-of-life care options at some point either before, during, or after diagnosis but a minority of parents were aware and fully understood their child's preferences. Therefore, this study suggested that family-centered pediatric advanced care interventions are needed to help families communicate with and become aware of their adolescents' care choices in hopes of mitigating problems surrounding increased hospitalization, legal actions, and quality of life care. To read the full article, follow this link.