Parents' Views on What Facilitated or Complicated Their Grief after Losing A Child to Cancer

Title

Parents' Views on What Facilitated or Complicated Their Grief after Losing A Child to Cancer

Creator

Pohlkamp L; Sveen J; Kreicbergs U; Lövgren M

Publisher

Palliative and Supportive Care

Date

2020

Subject

Bereavement; Grief; Pediatric oncology; Parents; Coping

Description

OBJECTIVES: The loss of a child is a devastating event, and bereaved parents often suffer intense and long-lasting grief reactions and are at risk for psychological symptoms. More knowledge about how parents cope with grief may improve the support to bereaved parents. This study, therefore, aimed to explore parents' views on what facilitated or complicated their grief coping after losing a child to cancer. METHODS: This study was derived from a nationwide postal survey. Cancer-bereaved parents (n = 161) provided written responses to two open-ended questions: "Is there anything that has helped you cope with your grief after your child's death?" and "Is there anything that made it difficult for you to cope with your grief?" Content analysis was used to analyze the responses. RESULTS: Parents reported that a supportive social network of family and friends, and having remaining children, facilitated their coping with grief. Meeting professional counselors and meeting other bereaved parents, connecting to memories of the deceased child in various contexts, including school and pediatric care settings, were also reported facilitating grief coping. Parents stated that the following experiences had complicated grief coping: additional losses in their family or social network; not being able to share emotions with their partner; when they perceived that friends, relatives, or colleagues lacked empathy or patience; when they felt challenging demands from employers at a too early stage. SIGNIFICANCE OF RESULTS: This study contributes to the understanding of parents' grief experiences and what has facilitated or complicated their coping with grief, which can help health care professionals and others improve bereavement support services.

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

2021 Special Edition - Oncology

Citation

Pohlkamp L; Sveen J; Kreicbergs U; Lövgren M, “Parents' Views on What Facilitated or Complicated Their Grief after Losing A Child to Cancer,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed May 30, 2024, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/18988.