Cet article a été élaboré dans le cadre d’un groupe de travail au sein de l’équipe ressource régionale de soins palliatifs pédiatriques d’Île-de-France Paliped, qui a choisi de mener une réflexion sur l’annonce du décès d’un camarade à des enfants polyhandicapés au sein de leur établissement. Cet écrit expose l’idée que ces enfants peuvent supporter la nouvelle, à condition qu’ils soient soutenus au moment de l’annonce et tout au long de la période où les effets de cette annonce se déploient. C’est ainsi que l’annonce peut être pensée comme le point de départ d’un processus d’appropriation qui se décline jusqu’au temps du deuil. L’enjeu spécifique pour ces enfants tient dans l’ajustement extrême que les professionnels doivent mettre en œuvre pour rester auprès d’eux quand un évènement grave vient bouleverser leur vie. L’objectif de cet article est de partager une déclinaison spécifique de la clinique de l’annonce, pensée comme la clinique de l’ajustement individuel, de la contenance groupale, de l’inscription dans la communauté humaine à travers la souffrance partagée et le souvenir.
Notre équipe régionale ressource de soins palliatifs pédiatriques a recueilli le témoignage d’une maman, après le décès de son fils atteint d’une maladie neurodégénérative, sur son parcours de vie et les soins proposés. L’objectif de ce témoignage était d’avoir un support pédagogique auprès des professionnels de santé sur la complexité du parcours de soin des enfants polyhandicapés en soins palliatifs, les questionnements autour du juste niveau de traitement et du risque d’obstination déraisonnable, à partir du regard des familles.
Dans cet article nous faisons d’abord une brève présentation de notre établissement, puis nous décrivons l’histoire d’un enfant atteint d’une dystrophie neuroaxonale. Après l’accueil de cet enfant en situation de maladie grave et évolutive, les professionnels de l’établissement dans lequel nous exerçons ont souhaité mener un travail et une réflexion visant à favoriser la démarche palliative. Au-delà de la prise en charge symptomatique, notamment douloureuse, les professionnels de l’établissement ont élaboré un projet d’accueil personnalisé de l’enfant où les compétences de chaque corps professionnel ont été mobilisées. En collaboration avec l’équipe ressource de soins palliatifs pédiatriques d’Île-de-France, le projet de soins raisonnables a permis d’anticiper les situations d’urgence, et les réponses à y apporter, au sein même de l’établissement. La collaboration avec des équipes extérieures, l’équipe ressource de soins palliatifs pédiatriques et l’équipe d’hospitalisation à domicile, a été une piste de travail concrète pour poursuivre l’accueil de cet enfant, malgré tout rendu difficile par la complexité de la situation, notamment médicale.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate levels of perceived family cohesion during childhood, teenage years, and young adulthood in cancer-bereaved youths compared with non-bereaved peers.
METHODS: In this nationwide, population-based study, 622 (73%) young adults (aged 18-26) who had lost a parent to cancer 6 to 9 years previously, when they were teenagers (aged 13-16), and 330 (78%) non-bereaved peers from a matched random sample answered a study-specific questionnaire. Associations were assessed using multivariable logistic regression.
RESULTS: Compared with non-bereaved youths, the cancer-bereaved participants were more likely to report poor family cohesion during teenage years (odds ratio [OR] 1.6, 95% CI, 1.0-2.4, and 2.3, 95% CI, 1.5-3.5, for paternally and maternally bereaved youths, respectively). This was also seen in young adulthood among maternally bereaved participants (OR 2.5; 95% CI, 1.6-4.1), while there was no difference between paternally bereaved and non-bereaved youths. After controlling for a number of covariates (eg, year of birth, number of siblings, and depression), the adjusted ORs for poor family cohesion remained statistically significant. In a further analysis stratified for gender, this difference in perceived poor family cohesion was only noted in females.
CONCLUSION: Teenage loss of a parent to cancer was associated with perceived poor family cohesion during teenage years. This was also noted in young adulthood among the maternally bereaved. Females were more likely to report poor family cohesion. Our results indicate a need for increased awareness of family cohesion in bereaved-to-be families with teenage offspring, with special attention to gender roles.
Objectif: Au Québec, comme ailleurs dans le monde, bien que le soutien aux familles concernées par les soins palliatifs soit jugé prioritaire, peu de recherches ont été publiées sur le maintien de la relation familiale dans un contexte d’hospitalisation, pourtant essentielle au bien-être des patients et de leurs proches. La présente étude vise donc à décrire les perceptions de proches, plus précisément d’enfants d’âge adulte, sur les changements vécus dans la relation avec un parent hospitalisé en soins palliatifs.
Méthode: Six enfants adultes de patients hospitalisés en soins palliatifs ont participé à une entrevue semi-structurée. L’analyse des transcriptions d’entrevues s’inspire de l’analyse phénoménologique interprétative.
Résultats: Les résultats révèlent des changements de communications verbales et non verbales, notamment l’apparition de gestes d’affection et de connexions symboliques. L’adoption de rôles relationnels spécifiques au contexte, des enjeux relatifs aux perceptions d’implication, et l’intensité et l’éloignement de l’expérience affective sont aussi constatés. En outre, certaines croyances sur la mort et les moyens d’obtenir une conclusion à la relation pourraient avoir une influence sur l’expérience relationnelle des proches. Le personnel hospitalier semble aussi pouvoir agir indirectement sur la relation familiale selon les participants.
Conclusion: Cette étude postule l’existence de trajectoires distinctes d’évolution de la relation familiale en contexte d’hospitalisation en soins palliatifs. Elle permet par ailleurs de constater le rôle de la création de sens dans l’expérience des enfants adultes. Elle informe finalement les intervenants sur les aspects à considérer pour soutenir ces enfants adultes.
Communicating a terminal prognosis is challenging for patients, families and healthcare professionals. However, positive effects have been reported when children are told about their diagnosis and prognosis, including fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression and enhanced adherence to treatment. When research about prognostic communication was first published in the 1950s and 1960s, it recommended protecting children from bad news. By the late 1960s, a more open approach was recommended and by the late 1980s the advice was to always tell children. There has been a growing awareness of the complexity of prognostic disclosure and the need to balance often competing factors, such as hope and patient and family considerations, on a case-to-case basis.
CONTEXT: Losing a child is the most burdensome event parents can experience involving risks of developing anxiety and depression.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate anxiety and depression in bereaved parents during their child's life-limiting illness and imminent death and 3-5 years after the loss in order to target future interventions.
METHODS: A Danish nationwide cross-sectional questionnaire survey. From 2012-2014 a register-based study identified causes of deaths of 951 children 0-18 years of age. Potential palliative diagnoses were classified according to previously used classification. Four-hundred-and-two families were included. A modified version of the self-administered questionnaire "To lose a child" was used. Non-response surveys identified reasons for lack of response.
RESULTS: In all, 136 mothers and 57 fathers completed a questionnaire, representing parents of 152 children (38%). Sixty-five% of mothers and 63% of fathers reported moderate to severe anxiety during the child´s illness. However, 3-5 years after their loss anxiety had decreased markedly. Thirty-five% of mothers and 39% of fathers reported moderate to severe depression during the child´s illness; 3-5 years after the loss they were suffering equivalently from depression. The Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D) scale indicated that severe depression was significantly associated with lower education and being unmarried.
CONCLUSION: The reporting of anxiety during the child´s illness and prolonged depression in bereaved parents 3-5 years after the loss indicates a potential need for psychological interventions. In the process of implementing specialized paediatric palliative care in Denmark our findings should be considered for future treatment programs.
To reduce response burden for bereaved children and adolescents, we provide data on the development and psychometric testing of a short form of the Hogan Sibling Inventory of Bereavement (HSIB). The resulting measure of grief symptoms and personal growth was renamed the Hogan Inventory of Bereavement – Short Form (Children and Adolescents; HIB-SF-CA). Psychometric properties were evaluated in a sample of 86 bereaved siblings. Instrument development and validation research design methods were used. Evidence of strong reliability and convergent validity indicates that the 21-item HIB-SF-CA is comparable to the original 46-item HSIB in measuring grief and personal growth in this population.
BACKGROUND: Preparing children for the death of a parent is challenging. Parents are often uncertain if and how to communicate and support their children. Many parents feel it is protecting their children by not telling them about the prognosis. Children less prepared for parental death from a terminal illness are more susceptive to later adversities. To facilitate coping and moderate for such adversities, there is a need to gain insight and understand the experience and challenges confronted by families.
AIM: This review synthesised evidence on the experiences of parents and children when a parent is at end of life to discern their challenges, support needs and factors that facilitated good practice.
DESIGN: Mixed-methods systematic review.
DATA SOURCES: Four electronic databases (CINAHL, PubMed, PsycINFO and Ovid MEDLINE) using MeSH terms and word searches in October 2018. Studies were not limited by year of publication, language or country. Grey literature searches were also completed on Google Scholar and OpenGrey.
RESULTS: In all, 7829 records were identified; 27 qualitative and 0 quantitative studies met the inclusion criteria. Eight descriptive themes were identified, further categorised into two broad themes: (1) barriers and facilitators in sharing the news that a parent is dying and (2) strategies to manage the changing situation.
CONCLUSION: Lack of understanding in relation to the parent's prognosis, denial and feeling ill-equipped were suggested as barriers for parents to share the news with their children. Engagement with social networks, including extended family relatives and peers, and maintaining routines such as attending school were suggested supportive by parents and children. Findings are limited primarily to White, middle-class two-parent families. A number of areas for future research are identified.
It has been ten years since the case of Hannah Jones-the 12-year-old girl who was permitted to refuse a potentially life-saving heart transplant. In the past decade, there has been some progress within law and policy in respect of children's participatory rights (UNCRC-Article 12), and a greater understanding of family-centred decision-making. However, the courts still largely maintain their traditional reluctance to find children Gillick competent to refuse medical treatment. In this article, I revisit Hannah's case through the narrative account provided by Hannah and her mother, to ascertain what lessons can be learnt. I use an Ethics of Care framework specially developed for children in mid-childhood, such as Hannah, to argue for more a creative and holistic approach to child decision-making in healthcare. I conclude that using traditional paradigms is untenable in the context of palliative care and at the end of life, and that the law should be able to accommodate greater, and even determinative, participation of children who are facing their own deaths.
This qualitative study asked 70 mothers and 26 fathers 3 open-ended questions on what they wish they had and had not done and on coping 2, 4, 6, and 13 months after their infant’s/child’s neonatal intensive care unit/pediatric intensive care unit/emergency department death. Mothers wished they spent more time with the child, chosen different treatments, advocated for care changes, and allowed the child his or her wishes. Fathers wished they had spent more time with the child and gotten care earlier. Mothers wished they had not agreed to child’s surgery/treatment, taken her own actions (self-blame), and left the hospital before the death. Fathers wished they had not been so hard on the child, agreed with doctors/treatment, and taken own actions (self-blame). Religious activities, caring for herself, and talking about/with the deceased child were the most frequent mothers’ coping strategies; those of the fathers were caring for self and religious activities. Both mothers and fathers wished they had spent more time with their child and had not agreed to surgery/treatments. The most frequent coping was caring for themselves, likely to care for the family and retain employment. Nurses must be sensitive to parents’ need for time with their infant/child before and after death and to receive information on child’s treatments at levels and in languages they understand.
Pediatric cancer has experienced significant improvement in overall survival rates over the past several decades. Despite this progress, however, it remains the leading cause of death from disease beyond infancy in children. Among the children and adolescents that survive their cancer diagnosis, significant symptom burden and toxicities of therapy are often experienced. The evidence presented affords great insight in to the current empirical support for pediatric palliative care involvement, current utilization of palliative care services in the care of children with cancer and their families, and barriers that have been identified to date. Positive trends toward increased, appropriate integration of palliative care services in the care of children with cancer and their families have been observed. Continued research, advocacy, and education are necessary to optimize the care of this vulnerable population of patients and their families.
Palliative care is patient- and family-centered care that enhances quality of life throughout the illness trajectory and can ease the symptoms, discomfort, and stress for children living with life-threatening conditions and their families. This paper aims to increase nurses' and other healthcare providers' awareness of selected recent research initiatives aimed at enhancing life and decreasing suffering for these children and their families. Topics were selected based on identified gaps in the pediatric palliative care literature. Published articles and authors' ongoing research were used to describe selected components of pediatric palliative nursing care including (I) examples of interventions (legacy and animal-assisted interventions); (II) international studies (parent-sibling bereavement, continuing bonds in Ecuador, and circumstances surrounding deaths in Honduras); (III) recruitment methods; (IV) communication among pediatric patients, their parents, and the healthcare team; (V) training in pediatric palliative care; (VI) nursing education; and (VII) nurses' role in supporting the community. Nurses are in ideal roles to provide pediatric palliative care at the bedside, serve as leaders to advance the science of pediatric palliative care, and support the community.
Dans le cadre d’une recherche sur la littérature jeunesse dans l’accompagnement de l’enfant orphelin, ce travail porte sur les livres pour les très jeunes enfants. 21 albums destinés à des enfants de 3 à 6 ans, publiés en langue française au 21e siècle, rendent compte des interrogations des jeunes héros. La littérature jeunesse semble être un médiateur susceptible d’aider l’enfant orphelin à dépasser l’absence et vivre avec le souvenir du défunt.
Context: Although access to subspecialty pediatric palliative care (PPC) is increasing, little is known about the role of PPC for children with advanced heart disease (AHD).
Objectives: The objective of this study was to examine features of subspecialty PPC involvement for children with AHD.
Methods: This is a retrospective single-institution medical record review of patients with a primary diagnosis of AHD for whom the PPC team was initially consulted between 2011 and 2016.
Results: Among 201 patients, 87% had congenital/structural heart disease, the remainder having acquired/nonstructural heart disease. Median age at initial PPC consultation was 7.7 months (range 1 day-28.8 years). Of the 92 patients who were alive at data collection, 73% had received initial consultation over one year before. Most common indications for consultation were goals of care (80%) and psychosocial support (54%). At initial consultation, most families (67%) expressed that their primary goal was for their child to live as long and as comfortably as possible. Among deceased patients (n = 109), median time from initial consultation to death was 33 days (range 1 day-3.6 years), and children whose families expressed that their primary goal was for their child to live as comfortably as possible were less likely to die in the intensive care unit (P = 0.03) and more likely to die in the setting of comfort care or withdrawal of life-sustaining interventions (P = 0.008).
Conclusion: PPC involvement for children with AHD focuses on goals of care and psychosocial support. Findings suggest that PPC involvement at end of life supports goal-concordant care. Further research is needed to clarify the impact of PPC on patient outcomes.
Children receiving palliative care services are held within the context of a family and often within multiple-generational arms. The purpose of this case series paper is to recognize grandparents' roles in their family system from a personal, cultural, and anthropological perspective; to explore emotions and experiences as applies to grandparents of children receiving palliative care; and to provide tangible insight into caring well for families across the generational arc.
This study examined gender differences in mental health of bereaved parents related to the gender of deceased only child in China, an only-child society with traditional culture of son preference, using data drawn from the China Family Planning Survey on Vulnerable Households in 2017. The findings indicated that parents with deceased only child suffered from more negative mental health symptoms than nonbereaved parents. For only-child-death families, there were no statistically significant gender differences in mental health of parents, and the gender of the deceased only child was basically unrelated to maternal/paternal mental health. Due to the implementation of one-child policy in China, both sons and daughters are highly prized and equally relied on by aging parents owing to the irreplaceability of the only child, which might moderate the effects of traditional culture of son preference on bereaved parental mental health.
The death of one’s only child in post-reproductive age (in Chinese, shidu) is a traumatic event that has specific cultural implications in China. This study investigates the experience of a changed life and emerging challenges amongst Chinese shidu parents. Thematic analysis of 36 interviews revealed four main life consequences following shidu: impairment of psychological and physical health, weakening of social networks and interactions, loss of meaning in life, and lack of care and security. We suggest that health monitoring and mental health intervention, adequate social and community support, and improved social security are the critical needs in this vulnerable group.
Enduring the death of a family member during emerging adulthood is associated with intense grief. In total, 15 adults between the ages of 18–32 were interviewed about their experiences. Results indicated emerging adults experience a range of mixed emotions after losing a parent, face unique challenges related to their developmental stage, and tend to be resilient moving forward. Emerging adults need opportunities to engage with others experiencing grief related to parental death and may benefit from specialized support groups that address the developmental challenges inherent among this population.