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Opportunities for quality improvement in bereavement care at a children’s hospital: assessment of interdisciplinary staff perspectives

Journal title
Journal of palliative care
Publication year
2012
Author(s)
Contro, N.; Sourkes, B. M.
Pages
28-35
Volume
28
Number
1

This study examined the current state of bereavement care at a university-based children’s hospital from the perspective of the interdisciplinary staff. In all, 60 staff members from multiple disciplines participated in in-depth interviews. In at least two-thirds of the interviews, issues related to the bereavement experience of both staff and families emerged and were consistently identified. Themes included: disparities in bereavement care based on relationship factors; logistics of time and space; geographical distances; the different cultures and languages of families; continuity in family follow-up; needs of siblings and other family members; staff communication, cooperation, and care coordination; staff suffering; and education, mentoring, and support for staff. This evidence-based needs assessment furnishes an empirical basis for the design and implementation of bereavement services for both families and staff. It can serve as a template for evaluation at other children’s hospitals and thus contribute to the sound and creative development of the field of pediatric palliative care.

Research abstracts