Special Issue "Emerging Topic in Childhood Death Education"

A special issue of Children (ISSN 2227-9067). This special issue belongs to the section "Global and Public Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 January 2024 | Viewed by 1152

Special Issue Editor

Department of Pediatrics, University of Pécs, József Attila utca 7, 7623 Pécs, Hungary
Interests: pediatric blood; pediatric cancer; palliative care

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are looking for original articles focusing on child death, reducing child suffering, improving communication, helping parents and families cope with grief, and reducing the emotional burden on staff. 

Many of us have experienced the difference between immediate, unexpected child death and death after a gradual deterioration. Therefore, it may be essential to analyze the differences in how parents and family members cope with bereavement, the barriers to communication between parent and child, and the impact on hospital staff.

The way in which an expected death is communicated to a child depends on the parents' attitudes and religious beliefs, the child's age, mental state, and previous experiences. Closely related to this is the preparation of parents (and possibly siblings or grandparents) for the dying process, helping them to cope with the anticipated bereavement. The staff's awareness of their experiences with loss, beliefs, age, and other factors will influence these differences.

On behalf of the Editorial Office, we invite contributions of research papers, review articles, and case reports for peer review and possible publication. While this Special Issue will highlight several areas of particular interest, as mentioned above, we welcome articles on any relevant topic.

Dr. Gábor Ottóffy
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Children is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • child death
  • unexpected death
  • communication
  • burn out
  • pediatric palliative care
  • grief
  • child hospice
  • pathological bereavement

Published Papers (1 paper)

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17 pages, 681 KiB  
Systematic Review
Prognosis Communication in Pediatric Oncology: A Systematic Review
Children 2023, 10(6), 972; https://doi.org/10.3390/children10060972 - 30 May 2023
Viewed by 935
Background: While communication plays an important role in medicine, it also often represents a challenge when the topic at hand is the prognosis of a high-risk condition. When it comes to pediatric oncology, the challenge becomes even greater for physicians who have to [...] Read more.
Background: While communication plays an important role in medicine, it also often represents a challenge when the topic at hand is the prognosis of a high-risk condition. When it comes to pediatric oncology, the challenge becomes even greater for physicians who have to adapt their discourse to both the child and their family. Methods: Following the PRISMA guidelines, an advanced search on PubMed, Scopus and the Cochrane Library was performed, from 1 January 2017 to 31 October 2022. Demographic data for caregivers, pediatric patients and physicians were extracted, as well as diagnosis, prognosis, presence at discussion, emotional states and impact on life, trust, decision roles, communication quality and other outcomes. Results: A total of 21 articles were analyzed. Most studies (17) focused on caregivers, while only seven and five studies were focused on children and physicians, respectively. Most parents reported high trust in their physicians (73.01%), taking the leading role in decision making (48%), moderate distress levels (46.68%), a strong desire for more information (78.64%), receiving high-quality information (56.71%) and communication (52.73%). Most children were not present at discussions (63.98%); however, their desire to know more was expressed in three studies. Moreover, only two studies observed children being involved in decision making. Most physicians had less than 20 years of experience (55.02%) and reported the use of both words and statistics (47.3%) as a communication method. Conclusions: Communication research is focused more on caregivers, yet children may understand more than they seem capable of and want to be included in the conversation. More studies should focus on and quantify the opinions of children and their physicians. In order to improve the quality of communication, healthcare workers should receive professional training. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Topic in Childhood Death Education)
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