Only 1 of the 229 passengers and crew members killed when Swissair Flight 111 crashed off Nova Scotia in September was visually identifiable. Identifying everyone else on board involved medical and dental detective work of the first order.
The purpose of this article was to describe adolescent coping after the death of a loved one. Data were obtained by two self-report questionnaires filled in by 14-16-year-old pupils in two secondary schools in Finland. The sample consisted of 89 adolescents (70% girls) who had each experienced the death of a loved one. The instrument used in the study was developed by Hogan and DeSantis. The article reports the responses to two open-ended questions. The data were analyzed using content analysis. The most important factors that helped adolescents cope with grief were self-help and support from parents, relatives and friends. However, the official social support system was not experienced as very helpful. No one reported help, for example, from school health services. According to the adolescents, fear of death, a sense of loneliness and intrusive thoughts were factors that hindered coping with grief. Some respondents felt that parents or friends were an additional burden on them. The results are discussed in terms of identifying the different impact of social support, the importance of self-help and professional help. Knowledge of factors that have an effect on adolescent coping with bereavement is important for families, effective nursing practice, school health services and parents.
A Swedish widowhood study revealed that four out of ten widows regarded the pre-loss period more stressful than the post-loss. The present investigation of close relatives to patients dying from cancer (using interviews and the Anticipatory Grief Scale) found that preparatory grief involves much emotional stress, as intense preoccupation with the dying, longing for his/her former personality, loneliness, tearfulness, cognitive dysfunction, irritability, anger and social withdrawal, and a need to talk. Psychological status was bad one by every fifth. However, the relatives mostly stated adjustment and ability to mobilize strength to cope with the situation. The results suggest development of support and guiding programs also for the anticipatory period.
Grief is a normal phenomenon but showing great variation depending on cultural and personal features. Bonanno and Kaltman have nonetheless proposed five aspects of normal grief. The aim of this study was to investigate if women with miscarriage experience normal grief.
Content analyses of 25 transcribed conversations with women 4 weeks after their early miscarriages were classified depending on the meaning-bearing units according to Bonanno and Kaltman's categories. In the factor analyses, these categories were compared with the Perinatal Grief Scale and women's age, number of children and number of miscarriages, and gestational weeks.
Women with miscarriage fulfill the criteria for having normal grief according to Bonanno and Kaltman. All of the 25 women had meaning-bearing units that were classified as cognitive disorganization, dysphoria, and health deficits, whereas disrupted social and occupational functioning and positive aspects of bereavement were represented in 22 of 25 women. From the factor analysis, there are no differences in the expression of the intensity of the grief, irrespective of whether or not the women were primiparous, younger, or had suffered a first miscarriage.
Women's experience of grief after miscarriage is similar to general grief after death. After her loss, the woman must have the possibility of expressing and working through her grief before she can finish her pregnancy emotionally. The care-giver must facilitate this process and accept that the intensity of the grief is not dependent on the woman's age, or her number of earlier miscarriages.
Canuck Place, North America's first free-standing pediatric hospice of its kind, opened in 1995 in British Columbia, Canada. The province-wide program encompasses a broad spectrum of services intended to support community-based care and provide periodic, facility-based respite and palliative care to children with life-threatening, progressive illness and to their families. Loss and grief support is another integral component of the program. The concept of pediatric hospice care is founded on the premise that dying children and their families can benefit from care designed to maximize present quality of life; yet, the creation of such programs must be based on demonstrated need. One vital step in the development of the Canuck Place program was assessing the need for such a program within the province. Data from both traditional quantitative and less traditional qualitative sources were used to document and put forth an argument in support of developing a children's hospice program. The final report addressed several components that are summarized in this article for the purposes of assisting others who may wish to undertake similar projects in their own communities.
The rate of autopsies has dropped to low levels in Western countries.
The aim of this study was to describe the experiences and attitudes of registered nurses (RNs) and physicians (MD) toward clinical autopsies in neonatal and adult hospital care in Sweden.
RNs and MDs in neonatal and adult care specialized clinics at a university-affiliated hospital in Sweden were surveyed. Survey responses were tallied, and free-text comments were assessed with qualitative content analysis.
Three hundred thirty-six surveys were distributed; the response rate was 35%. Most RNs and 14% of the MDs had limited or no experience participating in an autopsy. Notably, few RNs and approximately one third of the MDs were familiar with the autopsy processes and the treatment of the deceased person's body after an autopsy. More than one third of RNs had experience with talking to relatives regarding autopsy. Most agreed that an autopsy could be supportive for relatives during the grieving process and beneficial for the quality of healthcare. Most MDs (70%) thought that autopsies should be performed more frequently. Qualitative results emphasized that RNs and MDs thought that autopsy information supported the grieving process of relatives-especially parents who had lost a child.
The survey data confirm belief in the value of clinical autopsies in neonatal and adult hospital care. RNs and MDs should receive training about the autopsy process and procedures for obtaining consent for an autopsy. RNs are in a position to support the decision making of relatives about providing consent for autopsy and have an opportunity to take a more active role in the autopsy process.
The aim of this study was to illuminate the way of being a family when one family member is in the midst of living and dying. A family systems frame and a life world perspective were used in interviews with five families. A qualitative analysis inspired by Giorgi revealed dialectic and dynamic processes in constant motion within and between the continua being in affinity-being in loneliness, being in power-being in helplessness, and being in continuity-being in disruption. When families were moving in the direction of being in affinity, power, and continuity, these seemed to be prerequisites for enduring their challenged life situation and for giving them a kind of repose. When the movements were in the opposite direction, existential and emotional suffering were manifested as individual embodied experiences such as depression and anxiety.