The experiences of staff at children’s hospices who use ‘cold’ facilities to care for families after the death of an infant: A qualitative study

Waugh, Meghan (2018) The experiences of staff at children’s hospices who use ‘cold’ facilities to care for families after the death of an infant: A qualitative study. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Background: Children’s hospices in the UK have developed to incorporate various ‘cold’ facilities, which allow families to spend time with their baby after they have died. To date, no research has explored the impact on staff of providing this form of care alongside their usual roles within the hospice. This thesis aims to understand the experiences of stress in those providing palliative care through a systematic review, and explore the experiences of staff who are supporting families using ‘cold’ facilities within a paediatric hospice after the death of their infant.

Methods: A mixed-method systematic review and narrative synthesis of the literature was conducted using electronic databases and relevant reference sections of papers to evaluate the experience of stress in staff members who provide care in palliative services. Alongside this, a qualitative study was conducted using semi-structured interviews with seven members of staff at regional children’s hospices to explore their experiences and the sense they made of their work. Data were transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis.

Results: The systematic review found 12 studies which met the inclusion criteria. Quality was appraised and data was analysed using narrative synthesis. Results reported the levels of stress, types of stressor and coping strategies identified. The thematic analysis of the qualitative study identified two key themes (‘Challenges within the pathway’ and ‘Ways that challenges are met’) and 12 subthemes.

Conclusions: The research highlighted the unique experiences of staff in providing care using ‘cold’ facilities. Some challenges are specific to this care pathway, though others appear in line with those faced in overall paediatric palliative care. Challenges are ameliorated through both cognitive and behavioural coping mechanisms and the 3 importance of an open and supportive workplace culture is emphasised in ensuring staff well-being. Limitations and directions for future research are considered.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Depositing User: Bruce Beckett
Date Deposited: 23 Jul 2018 15:03
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2018 15:03


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