Parental Perceptions of Hospital-Based Bereavement Support Following a Child's Death From Cancer: Room for Improvement

Title

Parental Perceptions of Hospital-Based Bereavement Support Following a Child's Death From Cancer: Room for Improvement

Creator

Helton G; Morris SE; Dole OR; Wolfe J; Snaman JM

Publisher

Journal of Pain and Symptom Management

Date

2021

Subject

Child; Parents; Neoplasms/therapy; Hospitals; childhood cancer; Perception; Grief; bereavement; bereavement support

Description

CONTEXT: The death of a child from cancer is a devastating event, placing bereaved parents at risk for both physical and psychosocial morbidities. Despite growing awareness of these outcomes and increased hospital-based support, bereaved parents continue to express a desire for additional assistance. OBJECTIVES: We examined parental perceptions of bereavement support from the clinical teams and institution and suggested modifications to hospital support strategies. METHODS: We explored the answers to four questions on the bereavement support provided from the care team and institutional mailings from a larger survey, querying parents of children who died from cancer 6 to 24 months prior to participation. Answers were Likert scale based with additional free-text responses. RESULTS: Forty-nine parents completed the survey (response rate 36%). The respondents were predominantly white (N = 43, 88%), female (N = 32, 65%), and non-Hispanic/Latino (N = 43, 88%). The mean length of time from child's death to completion was 13 months. Twenty-seven (55%) and 26 (53%) parents indicated that contact with care team and mailings, respectively, were at least a little helpful in their grief experience. In free-text responses, parents identified support outside the hospital (28 respondents), groups and events hosted by the hospital or hospice (8), contact with care team (3), and hospital mailings (1) as the most helpful. Findings support modifications to hospital support strategies. CONCLUSIONS: Bereaved parents request additional supportive services. Using the parents' perspective and recommendations, we outline options to augment support and provide a variety of supportive resources for bereaved parents to access in their own time.

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

September 2021 List

Collection

Citation

Helton G; Morris SE; Dole OR; Wolfe J; Snaman JM, “Parental Perceptions of Hospital-Based Bereavement Support Following a Child's Death From Cancer: Room for Improvement,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed October 20, 2021, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/17662.

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