Professional support requirements and grief interventions for parents bereaved by an unexplained death at different time periods in the grief process.Int J Emerg Ment Health. 2013; 15(1):51-68.IJ
The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study examines the support needs and grief interventions professional and bereaved parents believed were helpful during different time periods in the grief process: the first 72 hours, first three to 14 days, and two weeks and beyond. Ten professionals from the following disciplines were interviewed: emergency communications, emergency medical technician, police, fireman, detective, social worker funeral director chaplain, peer support leader, and bereavement organization. Five parents and one grandparent bereaved by Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) or Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (SUDC) were interviewed. This study identified 13 support need and grief interventions: contact support people, emotional and cognitive regulation, preliminary information on cause of death, time with deceased child, accommodate and advocate, human compassion and support, describe timeline and process, referrals and resources, affordable and easy access to services, communication and follow-up, community experience, professional mental health support, and memorialize. Recommendations are provided on ways to improve services to newly bereaved parents.