Purpose: To explore how parents from a diverse racial/ethnic population use spirituality/religion activities following the death of their infant/child.
Methods: A qualitative approach was used to capture 63 parent (Black, White, Hispanic) stories. Following Florida International University, four hospitals and Florida Department of Health IRB approval, parents were recruited from neonatal and pediatric intensive care units 7 months following the death of their infant/child. Open-ended semi-structured interviews were recorded and transcribed. Deductive content analysis was used to explicate themes.
Results: Three major themes emerged: 1) creating meaning; 2) maintaining connection with their deceased infant/child and 3) moving forward with their lives that described how parents cope with the loss of the an infant/child.
Discussion/Conclusion: Bereaved parents’ stories demonstrated a strong link between the use of religion/spirituality activities and coping with the death of their infant/child. Religious/spiritual activities offer a meaningful way to address the ontological questions that arise after death.
Clinical Relevance: These findings are beneficial to healthcare professionals working with bereaved parents in the neonatal and pediatric intensive care unit and can be useful in providing support to bereaved parents of diverse racial/ethnic groups
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