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Helping parents live with the hole in their heart: The role of health care providers and institutions in the bereaved parents' grief journeys.
Cancer. 2016 09 01; 122(17):2757-65.C

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Bereaved parents experience significant psychosocial and health sequelae, suggesting that this population may benefit from the ongoing extension of support and resources throughout the grief journey. The interaction of hospital staff with patients and families at the end of a child's life and after death profoundly affects parental grief, offering a unique opportunity for the medical community to positively impact the bereavement experience. The current study was conducted to explore the role of the health care team and medical institutions in the grief journeys of parents whose child died a cancer-related death.

METHODS

Eleven bereaved parents participated in 2 focus groups. Responses to each of the 3 main prompts were coded and analyzed independently using semantic content analysis techniques.

RESULTS

Four main concepts were identified within the parental narratives, including the importance of strong and ongoing relationships between providers and bereaved families, the importance of high-quality communication, the effect of negative experiences between providers and families on parental grief, and the importance of the institution's role in the grief journeys of bereaved parents.

CONCLUSIONS

Bereaved parents consistently identified the critical role played by medical staff and medical institutions throughout the grief journey. Key components of bereavement support identified by parents should serve to guide the actions of providers as well as provide a template for the development of a comprehensive bereavement program within an institution. Cancer 2016. © 2016 American Cancer Society. Cancer 2016;122:2757-2765. © 2016 American Cancer Society.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Oncology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee.Department of Oncology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee.Department of Psychology, University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee.Department of Oncology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee. Division of Quality of Life and Palliative Care, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee.Department of Oncology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee. Division of Quality of Life and Palliative Care, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

27244654

Citation

Snaman, Jennifer M., et al. "Helping Parents Live With the Hole in Their Heart: the Role of Health Care Providers and Institutions in the Bereaved Parents' Grief Journeys." Cancer, vol. 122, no. 17, 2016, pp. 2757-65.
Snaman JM, Kaye EC, Torres C, et al. Helping parents live with the hole in their heart: The role of health care providers and institutions in the bereaved parents' grief journeys. Cancer. 2016;122(17):2757-65.
Snaman, J. M., Kaye, E. C., Torres, C., Gibson, D. V., & Baker, J. N. (2016). Helping parents live with the hole in their heart: The role of health care providers and institutions in the bereaved parents' grief journeys. Cancer, 122(17), 2757-65. https://doi.org/10.1002/cncr.30087
Snaman JM, et al. Helping Parents Live With the Hole in Their Heart: the Role of Health Care Providers and Institutions in the Bereaved Parents' Grief Journeys. Cancer. 2016 09 1;122(17):2757-65. PubMed PMID: 27244654.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Helping parents live with the hole in their heart: The role of health care providers and institutions in the bereaved parents' grief journeys. AU - Snaman,Jennifer M, AU - Kaye,Erica C, AU - Torres,Carlos, AU - Gibson,Deborah V, AU - Baker,Justin N, Y1 - 2016/05/31/ PY - 2016/01/26/received PY - 2016/04/07/revised PY - 2016/04/08/accepted PY - 2016/6/1/entrez PY - 2016/6/1/pubmed PY - 2017/5/26/medline KW - bereaved parent KW - bereavement KW - bereavement program KW - cancer KW - communication KW - end of life KW - grief KW - health care provider KW - palliative care KW - pediatric oncology SP - 2757 EP - 65 JF - Cancer JO - Cancer VL - 122 IS - 17 N2 - BACKGROUND: Bereaved parents experience significant psychosocial and health sequelae, suggesting that this population may benefit from the ongoing extension of support and resources throughout the grief journey. The interaction of hospital staff with patients and families at the end of a child's life and after death profoundly affects parental grief, offering a unique opportunity for the medical community to positively impact the bereavement experience. The current study was conducted to explore the role of the health care team and medical institutions in the grief journeys of parents whose child died a cancer-related death. METHODS: Eleven bereaved parents participated in 2 focus groups. Responses to each of the 3 main prompts were coded and analyzed independently using semantic content analysis techniques. RESULTS: Four main concepts were identified within the parental narratives, including the importance of strong and ongoing relationships between providers and bereaved families, the importance of high-quality communication, the effect of negative experiences between providers and families on parental grief, and the importance of the institution's role in the grief journeys of bereaved parents. CONCLUSIONS: Bereaved parents consistently identified the critical role played by medical staff and medical institutions throughout the grief journey. Key components of bereavement support identified by parents should serve to guide the actions of providers as well as provide a template for the development of a comprehensive bereavement program within an institution. Cancer 2016. © 2016 American Cancer Society. Cancer 2016;122:2757-2765. © 2016 American Cancer Society. SN - 1097-0142 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/27244654/Helping_parents_live_with_the_hole_in_their_heart:_The_role_of_health_care_providers_and_institutions_in_the_bereaved_parents'_grief_journeys_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1002/cncr.30087 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -