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Table 2 Baseline characteristics

From: When a child dies: a systematic review of well-defined parent-focused bereavement interventions and their alignment with grief- and loss theories

Quantitative studies
Author/year/countryStudy typeAim of the studySettingSampleMethod of data collectionOutcomes measuresQuality
Aho et al. (2011) [40], FinlandRCT Follow-up program vs. usual careTo evaluate a bereavement follow-up intervention for fathers, by comparing grief reactions and to explore their experiences with the programIntensive care unit, maternity ward, and emergencyroom in five university medical centresFathers of children who died at age ≤ 3 years1. Hogan Grief Reactions Checklist
2. Questionnaire measuring social support provided by HCPs and peer supporters
3. Questionnaire measuring fathers experience with the follow-up program
1. Despair, panic behaviour, personal growth, blame and anger, detachment, disorganisation.
2. Affect, affirmation, aid from HCPs and peer supporters
3. The implementation of the program
2 out of 7
Meert et al. (2014) [41], USAObservational studyTo evaluate the feasibility and perceived benefits of conducting physician-parent follow-up meetingsSeven children’s hospitals, oncology unitsCritical care physicians, bereaved parents of children who have died in the PICU, relevant othersSurvey (items on Likert scale and open-ended questions)1. Physician adherence to the framework
2. Experiences with follow-up meeting
4 out of 7
Nikkola et al. (2013) [42], FinlandObservational studyTo describe mothers’ experiences with the bereavement follow-up programIntensive care unit, maternity ward, and emergencyroom in five university medical centresMothers of children who died at age ≤ 3 years1. Questionnaire measuring social support provided by HCPs and peer supporters
2. Questionnaire measuring mothers experience with the follow-up program
1. Affect, affirmation, aid.
2. The implementation of the program
5 out of 7
Raitio et al. (2015) [43], FinlandRCT Follow-up program vs. usual careTo explore the effects of a bereavement follow-up intervention on mothers’ griefFive university medical centresMothers of children who died at age ≤ 3 years1. Hogan Grief Reactions Checklist1. Despair, panic behaviour, personal growth, blame and anger, detachment, disorganisation.2 out of 7
Qualitative studies
Author/year/countryStudy typeAim of the studySettingSampleMethod of data collectionOutcomesQuality
Aho et al. (2011) [44], FinlandGeneric qualitative studyTo evaluate the experiences and suggestions for further improvement of a bereavement follow-up program interventionPerinatal and neonatal unitsHCPs who were appointed to care for a child who died at age ≤ 3 yearsOpen-ended questionnaire and individual telephone interviews1. Experiences with the bereavement follow-up program
2. Ideas to improve the bereavement follow-up program
14,5 out of 32
Berrett-Abebe et al. (2017) [45], USAGeneric qualitative studyTo understand parents’ experiences with participation in a hospital-based bereavement support program following the loss of a child to cancerTertiary care centre, Department of paediatric haematology/oncologyParents of children who have died of cancerFocus group1. Experiences with medical team during child’s illness
2. Experiences with bereavement follow-up program after child’s death
3. Experiences of other bereavement support
19,5 out of 32
Brink et al. (2016) [46], DenmarkGeneric qualitative studyTo explore parents’ experience of a follow-up meetingUniversity hospital, Paediatric Intensive Care UnitParents of children (aged 0–16) who have died in the PICUIndividual face-to-face interview1. Experiences around a follow-up meeting19 out of 32
Darbyshire et al. (2012) [47], AustraliaGeneric qualitative studyTo explore the experiences of parents who participated in a nurse-led telephone follow-up support program in paediatric oncology.Regional women’s & children’s hospital, paediatric oncology unitParents of children who have died from an oncology-related conditionIndividual face-to-face interview1. Experiences with a follow-up support program21 out of 32
Eggly et al. (2011) [48], USAGeneric qualitative studyTo describe a framework to assist PICU physicians in conducting follow-up meetingsSeven children’s hospitals, oncology unitsCritical care physicians and bereaved parents whose children died in the PICUIndividual interviews by telephone1. Experiences with follow-up meetings8 out of 32
Meert et al. (2011) [49], USAGeneric qualitative studyTo investigate physicians’ experiences and perspectives regarding follow-up meetingsSeven children’s hospitals, oncology units.Critical care physiciansIndividual interviews by telephone1. Experiences with follow-up meetings
2. Ideas for future follow-up meetings
17 out of 32
Mixed method study
Author/year/countryStudy typeAim of the studySettingSampleMethod of data collectionOutcomesQuality
Michelson et al. (2013) [50], USAMixed method studyTo describe implementation of, reflections on, and address barriers for a PICU bereavement photography program, according to HCPsChildren’s hospital, PICUHCPs who cared for children at PICU who met one of following criteria: impending death, planned withdrawal of life-sustaining therapies with an expectation of a sudden death, examination consistent with brain deathQuestionnaires (closed and open-ended questions)1. Experiences with a bereavement photography program
2. Ideas to improve the program
4 out of 7 15,5 out of 32
Oliver et al. (2001) [51], USAMixed method studyTo explore experiences with a bereavement support programRegional children’s hospital, paediatric trauma centreFamilies of children who have died in the paediatric trauma centre and parental supportersSurvey and individual interview1. Experiences with a bereavement support program4 out of 7 10 out of 32
Descriptive articles
Author/year/countryStudy typeAim of the studySettingTarget populationMethod of data collectionOutcomesQuality
Aho et al. (2010) [52], FinlandDescriptive articleTo describe the development and implementation of a bereavement follow-up intervention for grieving fathersFive university medical centres, perinatal and neonatal unitFathers of children who died at age 3 or youngerN.A.N.A.N.A.
Cook et al. (2002) [53], UKDescriptive articleTo review local bereavements support practices over the last 5 yearsRegional hospital, PICUParents of children who have died unexpectedly in the PICUN.A.N.A.N.A.
Edi-Osagie et al. (2005) [59], UKDescriptive articleTo describe a template for a bereavement serviceTertiary care centre, NICUParents of children who have died in the NICUN.A.N.A.N.A.
Gibson et al. (2011) [60], USADescriptive articleTo describe the development of a NICU bereavement programUniversity hospital, NICUParents of children who have died in the NICUN.A.N.A.N.A.
Levick et al. (2017) [54], USADescriptive articleTo summarize and evaluate a comprehensive approach of bereavement services to NICU families and education/support to NICU staffRegional children’s hospital, NICUParents of children who have died in the NICUN.A.N.A.N.A.
Morris et al. (2016) [55], USADescriptive articleTo discuss the goals of bereavement care and the need to standardize bereavement care in the paediatric setting, and describe their hospital wide bereavement modelHospital, paediatric settingFamilies of children who have died in a paediatric settingN.A.N.A.N.A.
Reilly-Smorawski et al. (2010) [56], USADescriptive articleTo evaluate experiences of both individuals and couples with a bereavement support groupTertiary Centre, NICUParents of new-borns or infants who have died in the NICU.N.A.N.A.N.A.
Snaman et al. (2017) [57], USADescriptive articleTo review the three primary pillars of a parent-inspired and parent-derived bereavement programUniversity children’s hospital, oncology and palliative care unitParents of children who have died of cancerN.A.N.A.N.A.
Stastny et al. (2016) [58], USADescriptive articleTo provide a practical guideline for public health nurses (PHN) in performing home visits to bereaved parentsHome visitsParents of children who have died of sudden infant death syndromeN.A.N.A.N.A.