Support for bereaved parents following the death of a child from cancer

Roberts, SA 2007, Support for bereaved parents following the death of a child from cancer , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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One in 600 children develops cancer before the age of 15 (Cancer-UK 2004). The focus on providing supportive care throughout the course of a child's treatment is rightly prioritised. However, the provision of effective bereavement care must not be neglected. Although there are differences between diagnostic groups, approximately 30% of children die of cancer or resulting condition. The aim of this study was to elicit from parents who had lost a child to cancer their experiences of support following their child's death. The study focussed on what aspects of support were positive and which aspects of support parents would have wished changed or supplemented. Data sources included narrative accounts written by bereaved parents, interviews, observations and fieldwork in bereavement support groups and conferences. Data recorded in a personal reflective journal was also included. The data was analysed using Roper and Shapira's (2000) four stage strategy for analysing ethnographic data. Themes relating to the support needs of parents whose child has died of cancer were identified. The findings indicated that parents wanted comprehensive care from professionals during the terminal stages of their child's illness and following their child's death. Parents found the 24 hour availability of a professional person who knew the family as a valued source of support. Continued contact with those who had cared for the child prior to his or her death was appreciated. Parents identified that there was a need for information about support groups. It was suggested that a voluntary database for bereaved parents whereby parents whose child had died from a similar condition could contact each other. Support for bereaved siblings was important. Further research in this area could include an exploration of support needs of siblings, grandparents, parents who have lost their only child and needs of parents who have lost an adult child to cancer.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Long, T (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society
Depositing User: Institutional Repository
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2021 08:57
Last Modified: 04 Aug 2022 11:21

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