Bereavement follow-up: Listening and learning


Bereavement follow-up: Listening and learning


Subramanian G;Consterdine K;Ryan C


Pediatric Critical Care Medicine




bereavement;follow up;learning;Child;clinical article;conference abstract;consultation;diagnosis;Female;genetic transcription;Human;intensivist;Male;memory;nurse;staff;terminal care


Aims & Objectives: Providing family focussed care through lessons learned from bereavement follow-up. Methods RMCH is a tertiary PICU in UK with 750 admissions annually. Families of all patients who die in PICU are offered bereavement follow-up at 6-8 weeks. The meeting is attended by the parents, consultant intensivist and a family liaison nurse (recently appointed). As a service improvement project, these meetings have been routinely observed by a senior staff member using shadowing techniques (April 2017 onwards). Transcripts are recorded in a pre-designed field journal. Team debrief is held following meetings to identify recurrent themes to guide service improvement. Results 25 patients died between January-November 2017. 6 families attended bereavement follow-up. Families who attended had unanswered questions around care (pre-hospital/hospital) or were waiting to get the final postmortem /genetic test results. Two families declined as they were "happy with the care", three are awaiting follow-up dates and the remaining did not reply. To improve quality of discussions, team realised that prior interaction with parents to identify their objectives from the meeting is essential. Recurrent themes that emerged from shadowing technique included feedback around care (pre-hospital / in the hospital), communication gaps (during transfer of care, what to expect upon PICU admission, what happens after a child dies), making memories and wanting to know pending test results. Conclusions Families who have unanswered questions around care or diagnosis, tend to attend bereavement follow up. Shadowing technique has revealed what families want from end of life care and has helped to shape improvement in our service.


Article information provided for research and reference use only. PedPalASCNET does not hold any rights over the resource listed here. All rights are retained by the journal listed under publisher and/or the creator(s).

Citation List Month

November 2018 List



Subramanian G;Consterdine K;Ryan C, “Bereavement follow-up: Listening and learning,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed December 9, 2023,