Bruce Compas
Faculty Member
Last active: 3/20/2014

Bereaved parents and siblings offer advice to health care providers and researchers.

Steele AC, Kaal J, Thompson AL, Barrera M, Compas BE, Davies B, Fairclough DL, Foster TL, Jo Gilmer M, Hogan N, Vannatta K, Gerhardt CA
J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2013 35 (4): 253-9

PMID: 23612375 · PMCID: PMC3635497 · DOI:10.1097/MPH.0b013e31828afe05

OBJECTIVE - To determine how to improve care for families by obtaining their advice to health care providers and researchers after a child's death from cancer.

DESIGN - Families with a surviving sibling (age, 8 to 17 y) were recruited from cancer registries at 3 hospitals in the United States and Canada 3 to 12 months (M=10.4, SD=3.5) after the child's death.

SETTING - Data were collected in the home.

PARTICIPANTS - Participants (N=99) included 36 mothers, 24 fathers, and 39 siblings from 40 families.

OUTCOME MEASURES - Each participant completed a qualitative interview that was audio recorded, transcribed, and coded for thematic content.

FINDINGS - Five major themes included the need for: (a) improved communication with the medical team, (b) more compassionate care, (c) increased access to resources, (d) ongoing research, and (e) offering praise. Interwoven within the 5 themes was a subtheme of continuity of care.

CONCLUSIONS - Many participants were pleased with the care the child with cancer received, but others noted areas in need of improvement, particularly medical communication and continuity of care. Additional research is needed to inform interventions to improve services for families of children with life-limiting conditions.

MeSH Terms (15)

Adolescent Adult Bereavement Child Communication Empathy Female Health Personnel Humans Longitudinal Studies Male Neoplasms Parents Patient Satisfaction Siblings

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