• Sources of emotional challenge for practitioners delivering family centred care after the death of child: an inductive thematic analysis

      Tatterton, Michael J.; Honour, A.; Lyon, J.; Kirkby, L.; Newbegin, M.; Webster, J. (2021)
      Care after the death of a child and support of their bereaved family is an important element of the services offered by children’s hospices in the United Kingdom. The study aims to explore the emotional challenges of those delivering care to families of children in hospice cool rooms. An internet-based questionnaire was sent to all practitioners to explore their perspectives of providing care to bereaved families whilst the child’s body was in the hospice, as well as caring for a child’s body after death. In total, 94.9% (n=56) of staff responded. Two key themes were identified that represent the emotional challenges perceived by staff: the impact of deterioration of a child’s body; and witnessing the acute grief of families. Practitioners seek to provide care that recognises the importance of family and demonstrates family-centred care, as well as supporting families to deal with the changes that occur after death. Organisations can support practitioners to deliver care in cool rooms by providing training and education on anticipating and managing the pathophysiological changes that occur after death as well as training in grief and loss, and how to support a bereaved family.