Review question: What are health professionals' experiences of grief associated with the death of pediatric patients in acute or community healthcare settings?
Many pediatric health professionals provide care for patients who die, with this experience often occurring multiple times within the course of their clinical practice. The experiences of grief resulting from these deaths may vary between individuals and may change with each occurrence of patient death.
Adding to the complexity of the experience of pediatric health professionals is a societal expectation that children will not die in childhood1,2 and the additional grief that this can cause the patient's family and the health professional. The causes of death in pediatric patients are broad and care provided prior to death can vary in length of time. Similarly, the age of patients can spread across the full breadth of infancy, childhood and adolescence. Pediatric aged patients have been defined as persons under 21 years of age by the American Academy of Pediatrics.3 Some studies use this age limit,4-7 while others discuss pediatric patients using other lower age limits such as 192 or 188,9 years of age. These patients have care provided by many types of health professionals and while grief may affect any of these, there has been a predominant focus on nursing and medical staff in the conducted studies. While much of the existing literature focuses on critical care healthcare environments, health professionals working in community environments also experience grief when pediatric patients die.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||JBI database of systematic reviews and implementation reports|
|Publication status||Published - 2018|