Paediatric death and dying: exploring coping strategies of health professionals and perceptions of support provision

Forster, Elizabeth and Hafiz, Alaa (2015) Paediatric death and dying: exploring coping strategies of health professionals and perceptions of support provision. International Journal of Palliative Nursing, 21 (6). pp. 294-301. ISSN 1357-6321

Abstract

Without question a child's death is a devastating event for parents and families. Health professionals working with the dying child and family draw upon their expertise and experience to engage with children, parents and families on this painful journey. This is a delicate and sensitive area of practice and has strong and penetrating effects on health professionals. They employ physical, emotional, spiritual and problem solving strategies to continue to perform this role effectively and to protect their continued sense of wellbeing. Aim: To explore health professionals' perceptions of bereavement support surrounding the loss of a child. Methods: The research was underpinned by social constructionism. Semi-structured interviews were held with 10 health professionals including doctors, nurses and social workers who were directly involved in the care of the dying child and family in 7 cases of paediatric death. Health professional narratives were analysed consistent with Charmarz's (2006) approach. Results: For health professionals, constructions around coping emerged as peer support, personal coping strategies, family support, physical impact of support and spiritual beliefs. Analysis of the narratives also revealed health professionals' perceptions of their support provision. Conclusion: Health professionals involved in caring for dying children and their families use a variety of strategies to cope with the emotional and physical toll of providing support. They also engage in self-assessment to evaluate their support provision and this highlights the need for self-evaluation tools in paediatric palliative care.


Statistics for USQ ePrint 31897
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty / Department / School: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2017 04:05
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2017 04:05
Uncontrolled Keywords: Coping; End-of-life care; Health professional; Paediatric palliative care; Adaptation, Psychological; Child; Death; Health Personnel; Humans;
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1114 Paediatrics and Reproductive Medicine > 111403 Paediatrics
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
Identification Number or DOI: doi:10.12968/ijpn.2015.21.6.294
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/31897

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only