This study aims to synthesize qualitative evidence about the bereavement experience of parents following the death of a child due to cancer. A qualitative metasynthesis was conducted from searching five databases. The search identified 650 articles that were independently assessed by two reviewers. Thirty-one articles were selected for full-text reading and assessed for eligibility; a total of 14 articles were included in the final sample and submitted to quality appraisal. The software NVivo® was used to organize the data and support the thematic analysis procedures. Two analytical themes were constructed: (1) losing a child and facing a rupture in identity and sense of life and (2) surviving grief and reengaging in life. The grief process was dynamic, continuous, and begun before the death of the child. Fathers and mothers reacted differently to the loss and experience of grief. The loss of a child definitively changed the parents' life and caused identity crisis and loss of life's purpose. During the process of survival, parents constructed new meanings that helped them cope with grief; they used strategies that allowed them to recover their sense of purpose in life. Synthesizing the experience of bereaved parents is essential to improve the support families of children with advanced cancer receive to better cope with their suffering and loss, before and after the child's death.
This meta-synthesis aims to synthesize qualitative evidence from primary studies to better understand the experience of the spirituality of parents and its relationship to adapting following stillbirth. Five electronic databases were systematically searched and the quality of 21 eligible studies was critically appraised. A thematic synthesis revealed two analytical themes: (1) Spiritual suffering following stillbirth; (2) Moving through spirituality to adapt to the loss, each encompassing four descriptive themes. The findings can inform a more culturally and spiritually sensitive approach to care, taking into account the parents’ beliefs, folk customs, religion, values, and spiritual needs.