Balancing pandemic public health restrictions and family support at the end of life: palliative care and bereavement experiences of parents whose child died during the COVID-19 pandemic

Title

Balancing pandemic public health restrictions and family support at the end of life: palliative care and bereavement experiences of parents whose child died during the COVID-19 pandemic

Creator

Rapoport A; Nicholas DB; Zulla RT

Publisher

BMC Palliative Care

Date

2023

Subject

child; Canada; terminal care; article; controlled study; female; human; male; chronic disease; social support; palliative therapy; interview; parental attitude; health care policy; health care access; health service; adolescent; infant; physical activity; public health; qualitative research; coping behavior; coronavirus disease 2019; risk assessment; health status; personal experience; bereavement support; health care facility; family support; pandemic; infection control

Description

Background: Little is known about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on families of children with chronic life-limiting conditions who died during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: In this qualitative study, parents of a child (< 18 years) who died during the COVID-19 pandemic from an underlying chronic medical condition were interviewed to explore how the pandemic impacted end-of-life care and bereavement experiences. Parents of children followed by the pediatric palliative care service were recruited from a large children's hospital in eastern Canada. Results: Twenty bereaved parents, consisting of 12 mothers and 8 fathers, participated in individual interviews between January and December 2021. Findings identified impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on children's end-of-life care, experiences in hospital and at home, and family bereavement processes and experiences. Most parents experienced substantial worry about their child's physical status and the additional risk of COVID-19 given her/his vulnerability. Parents also struggled to navigate public health protocols as they attended to their child's needs and their family's desire for engagement and support. Key facilitators that helped families cope included a strong network of formal and informal supports. Conclusion: Implications highlight the need to critically reflect on pandemic care in the context of co-occurring end-of-life processes. Findings amplify the need to balance necessary infection control practices with access to essential supports for families.

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

February List 2024

Collection

Citation

Rapoport A; Nicholas DB; Zulla RT, “Balancing pandemic public health restrictions and family support at the end of life: palliative care and bereavement experiences of parents whose child died during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed May 26, 2024, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/19500.