The reactions of adolescents, parents and clinicians to participating in qualitative research interviews regarding adolescents bereaved by suicide and other traumatic death

Karl Andriessen, Karolina Krysinska, Debra Rickwood, Jane Pirkis

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Abstract

There are concerns that involving adolescents bereaved by suicide and other traumatic death in research may cause distress and harm. However, no study has investigated such bereaved adolescents’ research experiences. In addition, no study has looked at the experiences of parents and clinicians as participants in adolescent suicide and traumatic death bereavement research. This study aimed to explore the short-term impact of research participation experienced by adolescents, parents, and clinicians. A total of 61 participants (adolescents, n = 17; parents, n = 12; clinicians, n = 32) filled out a short survey within two weeks of having taken part in a qualitative interview study. Data were analyzed descriptively. Most participants had experienced no distress while participating and no negative effects of participating; rather, participation was experienced as helpful for them and they would highly recommend participating in a study like this to others. A few adolescents and parents reported some distress, related to anxiety about participation and the unpleasantness of grief memories. The study clearly indicates that bereaved adolescents, parents and clinicians can safely participate in research interviews regarding their experiences of grief and help after suicide, generally valuing the opportunity to share their experience. To prevent and mitigate potential distress, training of research staff and implementation of appropriate participant distress protocols are imperative. Future studies could include longitudinal follow-up of participants to assess any longer-term consequences.

Original languageEnglish
Article number452
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022

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