• The role and experiences of responders attending the sudden or unexpected death of a child: a systematic review and meta-synthesis

      Tatterton, Michael J.; Scholes, Sarah L.; Henderson, S.; Croucher, Fiona; Gibson, Carla (2022-01)
      The infrequency of sudden deaths means that professionals have limited exposure, making it difficult to gain experience and feel confident in their role. This meta-synthesis aims to synthesise qualitative research on the experience of professionals responding to cases of sudden or unexpected death. A systematic literature search was conducted using Academic Search Complete, CINHAL, Embase, psycINFO, PubMed and Web of Science, identifying ten papers for inclusion. Studies were appraised and synthesized using the principles of meta‐synthesis. Four superordinate themes were identified: perceptions of role, experience on scene, approaches to coping, and barriers to support. Findings suggest the way responders perceive their role and their experience on scene affect the approach taken to tasks and coping strategies used. The complexity of experience is often not acknowledged by responders or their colleagues. Experiences are compounded by cumulative factors which were expressed by different professional groups and across settings. Several barriers relating to workforce culture within organisations were identified, alongside the implications these have on staff wellbeing and the impact on bereaved families.