Health care personnel’s experiences of a bereavement follow-up intervention for grieving parents

Authors

  • Aho Anna Liisa MNSc,

    (Doctoral Student)
    1. Department of Nursing Science, University of Tampere, Pirkanmaa Hospital District, Tampere University Hospital (TAYS)
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  • Tarkka Marja-Terttu PhD,

    (Senior Assistant Professor)
    1. Department of Nursing Science, University of Tampere
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  • Åstedt-Kurki Päivi PhD,

    (Professor, Head of Department)
    1. Department of Nursing Science, University of Tampere, Pirkanmaa Hospital District, Science Center, Tampere, Finland
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  • Kaunonen Marja PhD

    (Senior Assistant Professor)
    1. Department of Nursing Science, University of Tampere, Pirkanmaa Hospital District, Science Center, Tampere, Finland
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Anna Liisa Aho, Department of Nursing Science, University of Tampere, PO BOX 607, FIN–33014, Tampere, Finland.
E-mail: anna.l.aho@uta.fi

Abstract

Scand J Caring Sci; 2011; 25; 373–382
Health care personnel’s experiences of a bereavement follow-up intervention for grieving parents

The aim of this study is to investigate the experiences of health care personnel of a bereavement follow-up intervention for grieving parents and of the ways to develop it. The intervention included three components: a support package for grieving parents, peer supporters’ and health care personnel’s contact with parents. The sample included 29 health professionals. Data were collected via open-format questionnaires and telephone interviews from health care personnel. Content analysis was used as a means of data analysis. The support package for grieving parents was considered important and versatile. Health care personnel perceived the intervention and its viability as mostly good. Parents’ willingness to receive support, health care personnel’s good resources and organizational preconditions were important for the follow-up contact. The intervention clarified the policy related to supporting grieving parents. It was enabled by a good attitude, shift arrangements and co-worker support. However, the implementation was considered difficult because of scarce resources. Parental support engendered negative feelings in health care personnel and they desired systematic supervision to deal with these. Follow-up care of grieving parents is a demanding task. Continuous education about bereavement follow-up care and systematic supervision to health care personnel is needed. Family-focused care in supporting grieving families after leaving from hospital should be increased. Inter-organizational cooperation in supporting parents is important and feasible.

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