Parent Grief 1-13 Months After Death in Neonatal and Pediatric Intensive Care Units

J Loss Trauma. 2017;22(1):77-96. doi: 10.1080/15325024.2016.1187049. Epub 2016 May 9.


Objective: Describe changes in mothers' and fathers' grief from 1 to 13 months after infant/child neonatal/pediatric intensive care unit death and identify factors related to their grief.

Methods: Mothers (n = 130) and fathers (n = 52) of 140 children (newborn-18 years) completed the Hogan Grief Reaction Checklist at 1, 3, 6, and 13 months post-death.

Results: Grief decreased from 3 to 13 months for mothers and from 3 to 6 months for fathers. Grief was more intense for: mothers of deceased adolescents and mothers whose child was declared brain dead.

Conclusion: Mothers' and fathers' grief intensity may not coincide, resulting in different needs during the 13 months after infant/child death.

Keywords: child death; father grief; grief; infant death; mother grief.