The Impact Of Family Bereavement Interventions: Qualitative Feedback Identifies Needs

Ellen Henning, Julie N. Germann, Nicholas Holder, Paul Nakonezny, Sara Loftin, Bridget Redondo-Doan, Lisa Jones, Laurie Ames Petty, Chelsea Pratt, Monica Garza-Saenz, Thomas Isaacs, Kevin Liu, Naomi Winick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

To present a synthesis of program improvement evaluations of two approaches to bereavement support for families: (a) weekend family camps providing developmentally targeted grief education and social support for children and parents, and (b) a wait-list control randomized trial of a parent bereavement group intervention. Method: Families eligible for camp experienced a child’s death (from any cause) and have surviving children at home. No-cost twice-yearly weekend camps include support sessions and family activities like fishing. After each retreat, parents and children complete an anonymous evaluation. We analyzed forms from 2009–2014 using the constant comparative method to devise a code structure and identify themes to understand camp impact. The second intervention, the bereavement group, included English and Spanish speaking parents of children who died from cancer. They were initially randomized to intervention and wait-list control groups. Intervention included six-weekly sessions of a bereavement program. Participants were invited to a postintervention focus group to better understand reasons for participation, the value of the group, and their support needs. Results: Qualitative findings from both groups strongly indicate that bereaved parents have specific ongoing needs that can be addressed through family or parent-focused interventions. Families identified benefits including being able to openly express feelings with peers who truly understand, gaining an understanding of individual and developmental differences in the grief

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-295
Number of pages13
JournalClinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Bereavement
  • Grief
  • Parent
  • Peer Support
  • Social Support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

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