BACKGROUND: Mothers and fathers are severely challenged when providing care for their terminally ill child at end of life. Caregiving needs have been studied predominantly in mothers. Differences in caregiving needs between mothers and fathers during their child's end of life have not, however, been explored so far. This knowledge is of importance to best meet individual parental needs in paediatric end-of-life care.
METHODS: Secondary analysis of a quantitative survey on parental needs during their child's last 4 weeks of life, collected in the Swiss multicentre "Paediatric End-of-Life Care Needs" (PELICAN) study. Caregiving needs of mothers and fathers (parental dyad) who had lost a child due to a cardiological, neurological or oncological disease or during the neonatal period in the years 2011-2012 were retrospectively assessed using a questionnaire representing six evidence-based quality domains of paediatric palliative and end-of-life care.
RESULTS: Seventy-eight parental dyads were included in this analysis. Differences between mothers and fathers were mostly found around needs to be supported as a family. In all, 28 out of 34 needs-related questionnaire items were scored higher by mothers than by fathers, indicating higher importance for that need to be met. The results indicate that these differences might relate to different caregiving roles and gender-specific coping strategies.
CONCLUSIONS: To best meet parental needs in paediatric end-of-life care, particular attention should be paid to both mothers and fathers and their specific caregiving roles, as differences in these roles might influence their needs in this exceptional situation. Therefore, healthcare professionals should identify how parental dyads mutually navigate care for their sick child to best meet their needs in support. Additionally, mothers and fathers should be supported in their individual coping strategies.
The first case of novel coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome–coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was reported in November 2019. The rapid progression to a global pandemic of COVID-19 has had profound medical, social, and economic consequences. Pregnant women and newborns represent a vulnerable population. However, the precise impact of this novel virus on the fetus and neonate remains uncertain. Appropriate protection of health care workers and newly born infants during and after delivery by a COVID-19 mother is essential. There is some disagreement among expert organizations on an optimal approach based on resource availability, surge volume, and potential risk of transmission. The manuscript outlines the precautions and steps to be taken before, during, and after resuscitation of a newborn born to a COVID-19 mother, including three optional variations of current standards involving shared-decision making with parents for perinatal management, resuscitation of the newborn, disposition, nutrition, and postdischarge care. The availability of resources may also drive the application of these guidelines. More evidence and research are needed to assess the risk of vertical and horizontal transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and its impact on fetal and neonatal outcomes.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread across the country, I am proud to be a part of a community of physicians selflessly stepping up to the call to help. Palliative medicine has taken on a vital role in this crisis, in leading discussions on goals of care and taking over the care of those who are dying of this disease. As a palliative medicine fellow, I feel a palpable energy among my colleagues and mentors as we rise up to this challenge. We lead ethics committees on codes and triage committees for ventilator allocation if we were to face a shortage—a situation that would have been inconceivable just a few weeks ago. Now more than ever, there is a common sense of purpose among health care providers: we are all in this fight together. Yet behind this common purpose, many of us have a common fear. Not only do we fear for our own health, but we also fear for the health of our families that we come home to at night.
Maman a un cancer, un lymphome, un gros pamplemousse qui l'empêche de respirer dans le poumon. On suit le parcours de soins, du diagnostic au traitement jusqu'à la guérison, à travers les yeux d'un petit garçon et de son papa.
Cela fait trois ans que Matthieu n'a pas vu sa famille, depuis qu'il a claqué la porte de la maison, le jour de ses 18 ans. Il n'a pas répondu aux appels de sa mère, a évité de donner des nouvelles. Il vit de petits boulots avec sa compagne Emma.
Sa tante, Grazia, lui apprend que sa mère est morte d'un cancer foudroyant. Il décide alors de rentrer pour l'enterrement. Mais cela se complique lorsqu'il découvre que sa mère, Bianca Fois, a tout prévu pour son inhumation en Sardaigne, dans le caveau familial : c'est lui, Matthieu, qui doit aller là-bas, avec son frère et sa soeur, des jumeaux de 11 ans, Gavi et Lena, avec lesquels il a été élevé mais qu'il ne connaît plus et dont il a des choses à se faire pardonner.
Ce livre raconte le deuil de trois adolescents qui devront apprendre à mieux se connaître pour traverser cette épreuve et celles du passé.
BACKGROUND: While women in the Deep South area of the United States have higher rates of maternal and infant mortality, palliative and supportive care programs are lacking. Additionally, few studies have detailed referral triggers that are specific to the mother, infant, or pregnancy for inclusion in perinatal and neonatal palliative and supportive care programs.
PURPOSE: The purpose of this retrospective, descriptive study was to examine the sociodemographic factors and referral triggers for perinatal-neonatal palliative and supportive care services for women enrolled in a newly developed perinatal-neonatal palliative and supportive care program.
METHODS: Data were collected from medical records of 135 women enrolled in the program. Triggers for referral to the program were classified as fetal, maternal, or prenatal complications.
RESULTS: A diverse sample of women were enrolled in the program. Most infants survived to birth and discharge from the hospital. Two-thirds of referrals were related to infant complications and 34% were for multiple complications (fetal, maternal, and/or prenatal). Triggers for referral to the program were not related to sociodemographic characteristics of women.
IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: A comprehensive list of triggers that include maternal and prenatal complications, in addition to infant complications, may ensure at-risk women and infants, are enrolled in perinatal-neonatal palliative and supportive care programs early in pregnancy, regardless of sociodemographic factors.
IMPLICATIONS FOR RESEARCH: Prospective research on the effectiveness of perinatal-neonatal palliative and supportive care programs in diverse populations of women is needed. This includes the examination of family health outcomes and provider perspectives.
My youngest daughter, Ruthie, died abruptly in her sleep at the age of 29. She had married ten years ago and lived far away, in central Mexico, where it was hard to get to her, and therefore all too easy to keep telling myself she was going to be all right, even when things that were happening to her were disturbing. She had been having small, partial-brain seizures for some months, which she had been told were a result of cutting back on alcohol and she was veering somewhat erratically on and off her anti-seizure medication because it often made her too sleepy to function.
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Under-five (U-5) mortality is a major public health problem in lower-middle income countries. The aim of this study is to examine the associations between maternal education and mortality of children below 5 years age in Indian context. We have used bi-variate and multivariate logistic regressions to assess the associations. Our study reveals that increasing level of education among women and in association with socio-economic and demographic factors significantly reduces the incidence of U-5 mortality. The findings suggest that increasing opportunities for female education and addressing socio-economic and demographic vulnerabilities could be effective strategies to combat the incidence of U-5 mortality.
BACKGROUND: Values clarification can assist families facing the threat of periviable delivery in navigating the complexity of competing values related to death, disability, and quality of life (QOL).
OBJECTIVE: We piloted values clarification exercises to inform resuscitation decision making and qualitatively assess perceptions of QOL.
METHODS: We conducted a mixed-method study of women with threatened periviable delivery (22 0/7-24 6/7 weeks) and their important others (IOs). Participants engaged in three values clarification activities as part of a semi-structured interview-(a) Card sorting nine conditions as an acceptable/unacceptable QOL for a child; (b) Rating/ranking seven common concerns in periviable decision making (scale 0-10, not at all to extremely important); and (c) "Agreed/disagreed" with six statements regarding end-of-life treatment, disability, and QOL. Participants were also asked to define "QOL" and describe their perceptions of a good and poor QOL for their child. Analysis was conducted using SAS version 9.4 and NVivo 12.
RESULTS: All mild disabilities were an acceptable QOL, while two-thirds of participants considered long-term mechanical ventilation unacceptable. Although pregnant women rated "Impact on Your Physical/Mental Health" (average 5.6) and IOs rated "financial Concerns" the highest (average 6.6), both groups ranked "financial Concerns" as the most important concern (median 5.0 and 6.0, respectively). Most participants agreed that "Any amount of life is better than no life at all" (pregnant women 62.1%; IOs 75.0%) and disagreed that resuscitation would cause "Too much suffering" for their child (pregnant women 71.4%; IOs 80.0%). Half were familiar with the phrase "QOL". Although the majority described a good QOL in terms of emotional well-being (eg "loved", "happy", "supported"), a poor QOL was described in terms of functionality (eg "dependent" and "confined"). Additionally, financial stability emerged as a distinctive theme when IOs discussed poor QOL.
CONCLUSION: Our study offers important insights on parental perspectives in periviable decision making and potential values clarification tools for decision support.
La mort d’un d’enfant provoque chez les parents une douleur incommensurable. À travers le témoignage d’une mère endeuillée, nous suivrons le long travail de séparation permettant d’atténuer cette souffrance. Nous verrons comment la théorie classique sur le deuil, élaborée par Freud, ne peut éclairer de façon satisfaisante la spécificité du deuil d’enfant.
Despite the increasing number of people being bereaved by suicide, little is understood concerning the experiences of those bereaved by suicide as they struggle to make sense of a loved one’s death. The current study explored the experiences of four mothers who had been bereaved by suicide and the role of support groups in the meaning-making process following bereavement by suicide. Participants were interviewed and transcribed interviews were then analysed from an interpretative phenomenological perspective. Four main themes were identified: Continuing role of the mother; A never-ending quest; Finding sanctuary; and Rising up from the ashes. These themes relate to a range of emotions following bereavement by suicide, the meaning-making process, the social context and the role of the support group. Clinical implications are discussed in relation to these findings.
La vie de Fabienne bascule une nuit de novembre 2015 lorsque son fils Giani se fait poignarder. Laissé pour mort, le jeune homme s’en sort miraculeusement, mais avec de terribles séquelles : handicapé à 95 %, il souffre également d’un « locked in syndrom ». Enfermé dans son propre corps, Giani est désormais incapable de marcher, de manger et même de respirer seul. Il ne communique plus qu’en bougeant les paupières et en soulevant un doigt. En permanence, sa mère est à son chevet, témoin impuissant de sa souffrance mais prête à se battre pour que justice soit faite. Dans ce témoignage, Fabienne raconte la lutte quotidienne de son fils. Un calvaire qui durera trois longues années. Jusqu’au moment où Giani exprime sa volonté d’en finir et de mourir dignement. Un droit élémentaire dont cette mère-courage a fait aujourd’hui son combat.
Some experiences are unique to palliative care clinicians. We are the only specialists who can expect that everyone we know and love, and everyone they know and love, may need our expertises at some point.
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IMPORTANCE: Pregnancy loss and infant death are unexpected, traumatic, life-changing events. The role of occupational therapy practitioners in treating this population is not well defined.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the outcomes of an occupation-based residential retreat for women who have experienced pregnancy or infant loss.
DESIGN: Program evaluation.
SETTING: Seven residential retreats for bereaved mothers.
PARTICIPANTS: One hundred forty-one women who experienced perinatal loss.
INTERVENTION: Residential retreats that were held in natural settings and included occupation-based activities such as group discussions, yoga, meditation, crafts, and rituals to facilitate grieving and healing processes after perinatal loss.
OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The Beck Depression Inventory, PTSD Checklist-Civilian Version, Self-Compassion Scale, and Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support were collected pre- and postretreat.
RESULTS: Statistically significant improvements were seen in women's depression, trauma, self-compassion, and perceived social support from pre- to postretreat.
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: At present, occupational therapy practitioners support this population primarily by providing referrals and information about local resources. However, as occupational therapy practice in primary care settings grows, so too do possibilities for the development of occupational therapy-related interventions to support maternal mental health.
WHAT THIS ARTICLE ADDS: This article provides preliminary support for occupation-based retreats as a treatment for improving maternal mental health after perinatal loss.
The death of one's mother during childhood is the severing of one of the most important human bonds. The child may suffer periods of grief that continue into adulthood and throughout life. The nurse has a vital role in assisting women traumatized by loss of a mother at a young age. This article discusses the experience of maternal loss and notes care needs of the motherless child-adult woman. Identification of women in this situation should be made as early as possible.
This study explored the bereavement experience of mothers after losing a child to cancer in Korea, using photovoice. The mothers took photos reflecting five subject areas they selected: (a) if I had one more day with my child, (b) memories with my child, (c) dreaming of my child’s healthy future, (d) what gave me strength, and (e) fulfilling my child’s wishes for the future. The findings show that mothers who lost a child to cancer need bereavement care to promote well-being. This study can help pediatric oncology providers develop bereavement interventions that address parental grief and improve quality of life.
INTRODUCTION: The analysis of patients' satisfaction with healthcare is recognised as being useful in the evaluation of health outcomes and perceived quality of care. Little is known, however, about how the psychological status of women who experience perinatal complications may affect their perceived satisfaction with care.
METHODS: We assessed healthcare satisfaction in 52 women who had undergone intrauterine surgery during a complicated monochorionic twin pregnancy and examined the influence that fetal loss and sociodemographic, clinical, and psychological factors had on the degree of satisfaction. Data were gathered in an individual interview and through the administration of the Medical Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire, Beck Depression Inventory, and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Relationships between variables were analysed using a chi-square test, Spearman's rho, Student's t test, and the Mann-Whitney U test, in accordance with the metric nature of the variables and the assumptions fulfilled.
RESULTS: Age and level of education were not associated with the degree of healthcare satisfaction. Negative but non-significant correlations were observed between the level of satisfaction and symptoms of anxiety and depression. Satisfaction with healthcare was high in the sample as a whole, although it was significantly higher among women who had not experienced fetal loss. There were no differences in satisfaction with services involving direct contact with medical staff, whereas satisfaction with indirect services was lower among women who had experienced perinatal loss.
CONCLUSIONS: Due to the unique characteristics of this population, specialised care teams of both professional healthcare and indirect services are needed. Although administrative aspects of healthcare are regarded as being of secondary importance, this may not be the case with more vulnerable populations.