Bereavement Support for Families Following the Death of a Child from Cancer: Experience of Bereaved Parents
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Postgraduate Medicine
This study explored the experiences and needs of nine parents who had received hospital—based bereavement support following the death of their child from cancer, in Western Australia. Six prominent themes emerged from thematic data analysis: personal grief, personal coping, concern for siblings of the deceased child, hospital bereavement support, community supports and unmet needs. Parents identified the need for more supportive contact from hospital staff during the palliative phase and following the child's death, early provision of information on how to practically and emotionally prepare for the death of their child, contact with other bereaved parents, and formal grief support for siblings. Areas for future research include exploration of parents' wish to become involved in activities to help others, bereavement support for siblings, the level of contact with the hospital unit that may be therapeutically beneficial, and parental behaviors associated with accessing both hospital and community—based bereavement supports.