Considerations for Practice in Supporting Parental Bereavement in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit-a Systematic Review

Title

Considerations for Practice in Supporting Parental Bereavement in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit-a Systematic Review

Creator

Lakhani J; Mack C; Kunyk D; Kung J; van Manen M

Publisher

Journal of Palliative Care

Date

2024

Subject

Infant; Bereavement; Death; Neonatal Intensive Care; Parental

Description

Background: Parental bereavement after the death of an infant in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is a complex and nuanced experience. Support from healthcare practitioners can have a significant impact on bereavement experiences in the short- and long-term. Although several studies exist exploring parental perceptions of their experience of loss and bereavement, there has not been a recent review of beneficial practices and common themes in the current literature. Objective: This review synthesizes empirical research to identify considerations that ought to guide the caregiving practices of healthcare professionals to support parental bereavement. Settings/subjects: Data was collected from studies identified in MEDLINE, Embase, and CINAHL. The search was limited to English-language studies describing parental bereavement in the NICU population from January 1990 to November 2021. Results: Of 583 studies initially identified, 47 studies of varying geographic locations were included in this review. Various themes surrounding healthcare support in parental bereavement were identified including ensuring the opportunity for parents to spend time caring for their child, understanding their perception of infant suffering, recognizing the impact of communication experiences with healthcare providers, and offering access to alternative means of support, all of which have been described as suboptimal. Parents generally want the opportunity to say goodbye to their infant in a private and safe space, be supported through their decision-making and be offered bereavement follow-up after loss. Conclusion: This review identifies methods of support in parental bereavement based on first-hand parental experiences and routine implementation of these strategies may be beneficial in supporting parents through their bereavement after the loss of a baby in the NICU.

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

June List 2024

Collection

Citation

Lakhani J; Mack C; Kunyk D; Kung J; van Manen M, “Considerations for Practice in Supporting Parental Bereavement in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit-a Systematic Review,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed June 15, 2024, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/19623.