Abstract Objective To determine the impact of palliative care (PC) on end-of-life (EoL) care and the place of death (PoD) in children, adolescents, and young adults with life-limiting conditions. Method Eight online databases (PubMed, Medline, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, CINAHL, Airiti, GARUDA Garba Rujukan Digital, and OpenGrey) from 2010 to February 5, 2020 were searched for studies investigating EoL care and the PoD for pediatric patients receiving and not receiving PC. Results Of the 6,468 citations identified, 14 cohort studies and one case series were included. An evidence base of mainly adequate- and strong-quality studies shows that inpatient hospital PC, either with or without the provision of home and community PC, was found to be associated with a decrease in intensive care use and high-intensity EoL care. Conflicting evidence was found for the association between PC and hospital admissions, length of stay in hospital, resuscitation at the time of death, and the proportion of hospital and home deaths. Significance of results Current evidence suggests that specialist, multidisciplinary involvement, and continuity of PC are required to reduce the intensity of EoL care. Careful attention should be paid to the need for a longer length of stay in a medical setting late in life, and earlier EoL care discussion should take place with patients/caregivers, especially in regard to attempting resuscitation in toddlers, adolescents, and the young adult population. A lack of robust evidence has identified a gap in rigorous multisite prospective studies utilizing data collection.
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