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Children's Comfort Care Program



Children's Comfort Care Program at Mattel Children's Hospital UCLAThe UCLA Children’s Comfort Care Program (CCCP) is dedicated to alleviating pain and other symptoms that children with serious and life threatening illnesses experience.  Our overall goal is to provide the best quality of life possible for our pediatric patients and their families.

Our Children’s Comfort Care Team provides recommendations for many different types of treatments –both medical and nonmedical– to help with pain, nausea, anxiety, and other discomforts associated with serious illness.

In order to provide holistic care‡ and support to your child and family, our team of medical, behavioral, and spiritual care clinicians will work very closely with your child’s healthcare team.

Working with UCLA healthcare providers and reaching out to the community as well, the CCCP promotes awareness about the importance of palliative care, improves quality of care, and supports research for children with serious illnesses.

What is Pediatric Palliative Care?

Pediatric Palliative Care includes services and medical care that are intended to improve the quality of life and reduce symptoms, such as pain, in patients who have a life-threatening or terminal condition.  The AAP supports starting palliative care along with curative care, if appropriate, at the time of diagnosis.  As part of palliative care, providers are encouraged to work with patients and their families to develop care plans that are consistent with patient and family wishes.1

World Health Organization’s (WHO) definition of palliative care appropriate for children and their families is as follows; the principles apply to other pediatric chronic disorders2 (WHO; 1998a):

  • mind and spirit, and also involves giving support to the family.
  • It begins when illness is diagnosed, and continues regardless of whether or not a child receives treatment directed at the disease.
  • Health providers must evaluate and alleviate a child's physical, psychological, and social distress.
  • Effective palliative care requires a broad multidisciplinary approach that includes the family and makes use of available community resources; it can be successfully implemented even if resources are limited.
  • It can be provided in tertiary care facilities, in community health centers and even in children's homes.

Care that integrates all different aspects of a patient's needs: psychological, physical and social.

1. American Academy of Pediatrics. Children's Health Topics: Palliative Care. Retrieved February 22, 2010, from http://www.aap.org/healthtopics/palliativecare.cfm
2. World Health Organization, (2010). WHO Definition of Palliative Care. Retrieved February 22, 2010, from http://www.who.int/cancer/palliative/definition/en/