Needs of bereaved parents following the death of a child or young person from cancer
evidence and practice    

Needs of bereaved parents following the death of a child or young person from cancer

Kate Law Community liaison nurse team leader, Palatine unit, Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, England
Carole Farrell at the time of writing was research fellow, Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, England, and is now lecturer, University of Bolton, England

Parental grief is unlike any other grief and is physically and emotionally overwhelming. About 20-30 young people die each year at a treatment centre following a diagnosis of cancer. Treatment centres strive to provide individualised care to patients and families from the point of diagnosis and into bereavement. Support is often directed by the needs of families, therefore there is no standard. This article describes findings of a literature review of the needs of bereaved parents following the death of a young person between 16 and 25 years. Five themes were identified to summarise the nature of parental grief: preparedness and palliative care experience, relationships and ‘telling the story’, continuing bonds, parents’ needs and adjusting to a new normal. Implications for practice are highlighted by the widespread acknowledgement of the need for individualised and appropriate support during grief, but the literature demonstrates a lack of information regarding this approach to support.

Cancer Nursing Practice. doi: 10.7748/cnp.2018.e1487

Citation

Law K, Farrell C (2018) Needs of bereaved parents following the death of a child or young person from cancer. Cancer Nursing Practice. doi: 10.7748/cnp.2018.e1487

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software

Correspondence

kate.law@christie.nhs.uk

Conflict of interest

None declared

Published online: 11 December 2018

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