Date of this Version


Document Type




To describe parents’ perspectives of health care provider actions that helped or did not around the time of infant/child’s intensive care unit (ICU) death. Semistructured interviews with 63 parents (Black, White, and Hispanic) 7 months post infant/child death were audio-recorded, transcribed, analyzed, and themes identified.


What helped most: compassionate, sensitive staff; understandable explanations of infant’s/child’s condition; experienced, competent nurses; providers did everything to help infant/child; and parents’ involvement in care decisions. What did not help: insensitive, nonsupportive staff; conflict between providers and parents; communication problems around the death; inexperienced nurses and doctors; parents not understanding child’s disease, care, complications.


Compassionate, sensitive staff and understandable explanations of children’s conditions were most helpful; insensitive, nonsupportive staff least helpful by gender, racial group, or care setting. Conflict between providers and parents was most problematic for minority parents and mothers.


Author's Accepted Manuscript.

The publisher's final edited version of this article is available at Am J Hosp Palliat Care



Rights Statement

Rights Statement

In Copyright. URI:
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).