Home-based Palliative Intervention to Improve Quality of Life in Children with Cancer: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Child Health, Faculty of Medicine Universitas Indonesia, Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital, Jakarta, Indonesia.

2 Pediatric Nursing, Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital, Jakarta, Indonesia.


Objective: Over the past few years, an integrated approach of palliative care (PC) to chronic and/or life-threatening conditions care has been widely used. Home-based PC (HBPC) service is developed to meet the needs of patients at home; however, it has not been used widely. This study is aimed at determining the benefits of integrated HBPC for the quality of life (QoL) and symptoms intensity in Indonesian children with malignancies. Method: A randomized controlled trial was carried out to compare the quality of life between patients who were given PC (a three-month home visit) and those who did not receive PC (control group). Each group was constituted of thirty children with cancer and aged 2-18 years old and were consulted by a palliative team. The participants were randomly allocated to two groups. In the first and twelfth weeks of the intervention, all patients were assessed using the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQLTM) questionnaire cancer module 3.0 (report by proxy or self-report). Symptoms intensity (pain, anorexia, sleep disturbance) were scored by using Edmonton Symptoms Assessment Scale (ESAS). The mean score and each dimension score of both groups were compared and analyzed using bivariate analysis. Results: In total, fifty participants were included in the study. A significant difference was found between the two groups in terms of the mean total score in control group 62.39 and intervention group 81.63 (p<0.001). The QoL was improved in the intervention group, while it was declined in the control group as the disease progressed. The main improvements were in the pain and nausea aspects (p<0.001), followed by procedural anxiety (p=0.002), treatment anxiety (p=0.002), and worry (p=0.014). Palliative intervention significantly reduced sleep disturbances (p=0.003) and anorexia (p<0.001). Conclusion: Home-based PC improved several aspects of QoL and caused better symptom management in children with malignancies. An early intervention concurrent with the underlying treatment can improve QoL in these children.


Main Subjects

Volume 23, Issue 9
September 2022
Pages 3029-3034
  • Receive Date: 12 March 2022
  • Revise Date: 19 May 2022
  • Accept Date: 20 September 2022
  • First Publish Date: 20 September 2022