Actual Solidarity through Virtual Support: A Pilot Descriptive Study of an Online Support Group for Bereaved Parents

Title

Actual Solidarity through Virtual Support: A Pilot Descriptive Study of an Online Support Group for Bereaved Parents

Creator

Weaver MS; Jurgens A; Neumann ML; Schalley SM; Kellas JK; Navaneethan H; Tullis J

Publisher

Journal of Palliative Medicine

Date

2021

Subject

communication; pediatric palliative care; bereavement; telehealth

Description

Background: Hospital-based support for bereaved parents is regarded as best practice. Little is known about parental perceptions or programmatic potential of online grief support. Objectives: To learn from bereaved parent participants' experiences with an online support group to include perceptions of technology acceptance and group communication dynamics. Design: Descriptive study reporting on an eight-week online bereavement support group offered during summer 2020. Subjects and Setting: Inclusive of six bereaved parent participants in the Midwestern United States. Measurements: Post-intervention survey consisting of 49-items with the Technology Acceptance Model and Other Communicated Perspective-Taking Ability instruments embedded. Results: Five bereaved mothers and one father (mean age 32 years) residing an average 126 miles from hospital participated in an online support group in a timeframe seven months to one year from the death of their child. Intensity of grief emotion (5/6 parents) and physical distance (4/6 parents) were notable barriers to in-person visits to the hospital, where bereavement support was to be offered. Parents uniformly reported feeling benefit from the program and satisfaction with the program. Respondents self-reported gaining improved communication (4/6 parents), coping (3/6 parents), peer support (3/6 parents), education (3/6 parents), and emotional expression (3/6 parents). Mean scores on the technology acceptance and communication experiences scales were 4.7/5. The virtual format was an acceptable modality with perceived supportive interpersonal communication dynamics. Conclusion: Pediatric palliative care teams may consider the offering of online bereavement support groups. Further research is warranted on the impact and outcomes of online bereavement support groups for bereaved parents.

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

March 2021 List

Collection

Citation

Weaver MS; Jurgens A; Neumann ML; Schalley SM; Kellas JK; Navaneethan H; Tullis J, “Actual Solidarity through Virtual Support: A Pilot Descriptive Study of an Online Support Group for Bereaved Parents,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed October 18, 2021, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/17493.

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