ABSTRACT: The pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) is a high-tech setting aimed at restoring health to critically ill children. When childhood death occurs in the PICU, it constitutes a special context for parent bereavement. The purpose of this interdisciplinary qualitative research was to gain a deeper understanding of parents' needs around the time of their child's death in the PICU. Through interviews and focus groups with bereaved parents and hospital chaplains, categories of parents' needs emerged. Deeper understanding of parents' needs will allow health professionals to better support parents during bereavement as well as to provide more customized care.
Death Studies 10/2009; 33(8):712-40. · 0.92 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Many childhood deaths in the United States occur in intensive care settings. The environmental needs of parents experiencing their child's death in a pediatric intensive care unit must be understood to design facilities that comfort at the time of death and promote healing after loss. The purpose of this study is to explore parents' environmental needs during their child's hospitalization and death in the pediatric intensive care unit.
Descriptive qualitative study.
A university-affiliated children's hospital.
Thirty-three parents of 26 children who died in a pediatric intensive care unit.
Semistructured, in-depth, videotaped interviews were conducted with parents 2 yrs after their child's death. Interviews were analyzed by an interdisciplinary research team using established qualitative methods.
Environmental themes identified through parent interviews included 1) places remembered, 2) spatial characteristics, 3) services for daily living, 4) parent caregiving, 5) access, and 6) presence of people. Places remembered by parents in most detail included the pediatric intensive care unit patient rooms and waiting room. Spatial characteristics pertaining to these places included the need for privacy, proximity, adequate space, control of sensory stimuli, cleanliness, and safety. Parents needed facilities that enabled self-care such as a place to eat, shower, and sleep. Parents also needed access to their child and opportunities to participate in their child's care. Parents described the physical presence of people, such as those who provide professional and personal support, as another important environmental need.
The pediatric intensive care unit environment affects parents at the time of their child's death and produces memories that are vivid and long lasting. Positive environmental memories can contribute to comfort during bereavement whereas negative memories can compound an already devastating experience. Parents' perspectives of the pediatric intensive care unit environment can provide insight for adapting existing spaces and designing new facilities.
Pediatric Critical Care Medicine 11/2008; 9(6):623-8. · 3.13 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: In addition to the obstacles to a successful resolution of grief normally faced by children whose parents have died, children orphaned by AIDS may face additional psychological and social challenges. However, limited attention has been paid to psychosocial and developmental needs of children orphaned by HIV/AIDS, particularly in resource-poor countries or regions. In this article the authors review the global literature on child bereavement and AIDS orphan care experiences in developing countries and present a developmental psychopathology model of the psychosocial issues facing AIDS orphans. The authors identify gaps in the literature and provide suggestions for future research on AIDS orphans in resource-poor countries and regions. They emphasize that future studies need to assess the status of behaviors and mental health of children orphaned by AIDS within a developmental framework, identify those individual and social factors associated with grief, and examine the long-term impact of quality of care, developmental maturation, and attachment with caregivers on the psychosocial well-being of AIDS orphans.
Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care 19(2):147-57. · 1.09 Impact Factor