Examining the needs of bereaved parents in the pediatric intensive care unit: a qualitative study

Death Stud. 2009 Sep;33(8):712-40. doi: 10.1080/07481180903070434.


The pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) is a high-tech setting aimed at restoring health to critically ill children. When childhood death occurs in the PICU, it constitutes a special context for parent bereavement. The purpose of this interdisciplinary qualitative research was to gain a deeper understanding of parents' needs around the time of their child's death in the PICU. Through interviews and focus groups with bereaved parents and hospital chaplains, categories of parents' needs emerged. Deeper understanding of parents' needs will allow health professionals to better support parents during bereavement as well as to provide more customized care.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Bereavement*
  • Chaplaincy Service, Hospital
  • Communication
  • Death
  • Empathy
  • Health Services Needs and Demand*
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units, Pediatric*
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Middle Aged
  • Needs Assessment*
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Pediatric Nursing
  • Qualitative Research
  • Stress, Psychological / nursing
  • Trust
  • United States