Grief reactions and coping strategies of trainee doctors working in paediatric intensive care

Title

Grief reactions and coping strategies of trainee doctors working in paediatric intensive care

Creator

ffrench-O'Carroll R; Feeley T; Crowe S; Doherty E M

Publisher

BJA: The British Journal of Anaesthesia

Date

2019

Subject

Attitude of Health Personnel; pediatrics; Intensive Care Units; grief; Adaptation Psychological; attitude to death; physicians - psychosocial factors

Description

Background: The death of a child can have significant emotional effects on doctors responsible for their care. Trainee doctors working in the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) may be particularly vulnerable. The aim of this study was to examine the emotional impact of, and grief reactions to, a child's death in PICU trainee doctors, along with coping strategies they used.Methods: In a prospective, cross-sectional, observational study, qualitative and quantitative data were recorded on anonymised, written questionnaires. Grief severity was assessed using the Texas Revised Inventory of Grief. Emotional impact was assessed using the shortened Impact of Event Scale. The BriefCOPE tool was used to assess coping strategies. Qualitative data was analysed using conventional content analysis. Data are presented as median (inter-quartile range) or number (%).Results: All invited trainee doctors (23 anaesthetists; 5 paediatricians) completed the questionnaire (age, 30 [29-34] yr; 13/28 [46%] female). Two (7%) doctors experienced severe grief (Texas Revised Inventory of Grief score <39), with five (18%) doctors severely affected by the deaths as measured by the Impact of Event Scale. Qualitative analysis revealed prominent themes of sadness, helplessness, guilt, shock, and concern for the bereaved family. There was limited use of coping strategies. Speaking with another trainee doctor was the principal coping strategy. Requests for debriefing sessions, greater psychological support and follow-up with the patient's family were frequently suggested.Conclusions: Paediatric deaths evoke significant grief and emotional reactions in a subset of PICU trainee doctors. Trainee PICU doctors highlighted a lack of professional support and tailored debriefs.

Rights

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

August 2019 List

Collection

Citation

ffrench-O'Carroll R; Feeley T; Crowe S; Doherty E M, “Grief reactions and coping strategies of trainee doctors working in paediatric intensive care,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed September 20, 2021, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/16485.

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