Table 1

Diagnostic categories for paediatric palliative care

Martin House categoriesAssociation of Children’s Palliative Care categories
  1. Chromosomal

  2. CNS

  3. CNS progressive

  4. Cardiac

  5. Metabolic

  6. MPS

  7. Duchenne muscular dystrophy

  8. Spinal muscular atrophy

  9. CNS oncology

  10. Oncology

  11. Other

  • Group 1: Life-threatening conditions for which curative treatment may be feasible but can fail; where access to palliative care services may be necessary when treatment fails (eg, cancer, irreversible organ failure)

  • Group 2: Conditions where premature death is inevitable, where there may be long periods of intensive treatment aimed at prolonging life and allowing participation in normal activities (eg, cystic fibrosis)

  • Group 3: Progressive conditions without curative treatment options, where treatment is exclusively palliative and may commonly extend over many years (eg, Batten disease, MPS, muscular dystrophy)

  • Group 4: Irreversible but non-progressive conditions causing severe disability leading to susceptibility to health complications and likelihood of premature death (eg, severe cerebral palsy, multiple disabilities such as following brain or spinal cord insult)

  • CNS, central nervous system; MPS, mucopolysaccharidoses.