A phenomenological study of the professional support requirements and grief interventions to parents bereaved by an unexplained death at different time periods in the grief process
AuthorRudd, Rebecca Anne
Counseling and Educational Psychology
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The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to examine the support needs and grief interventions professionals and bereaved parents believed were helpful during different time periods in the grief process and the lived experience of providing or receiving those support needs. Ten professionals from the following disciplines were interviewed: emergency communications, emergency medical technician, police, fireman, detective, social worker, funeral director, chaplain, peer support leader, and bereavement organization director. Five parents and one grandparent bereaved by Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) or Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (SUDC) were interviewed. The researcher identified 13 support need and grief interventions and four themes for lived experience for participants. The support needs identified for parents were: Contact support people, emotional and cognitive regulation, preliminary information on cause of death, time with deceased child, accommodate and advocate, human compassion and support, describe timeline and process, referrals and resources, affordable and easy access to services, communication and follow-up, community experience, professional mental health support and memorialize. Two themes emerged for professionals' lived experience: Professionally emotionally impacted and philosophy of life and death and two themes emerged for parents' lived experience: Denial and dissociation and difficulty as suspect. A detailed account of these needs and experiences were described.