How grandparents experience the death of a grandchild with a life-limiting condition

Tatterton, Michael and Walshe, Catherine Elizabeth (2019) How grandparents experience the death of a grandchild with a life-limiting condition. Journal of Family Nursing, 25 (1). pp. 109-127. ISSN 1074-8407

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Traditionally, family-focused care extends to parents and siblings of children with life-limiting conditions. Only a few studies have focused on the needs of grandparents, who play an important role in the families of children with illness and with life-limiting conditions, in particular. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was used as the methodological framework for the study. Seven bereaved grandparents participated in this study. Semistructured, individual, face-to-face interviews were conducted. A number of contextual factors affected the experience of bereaved grandparents, including intergenerational bonds and perceived changes in role following the death of their grandchild. The primary motivation of grandparents stemmed from their role as a parent, not a grandparent. The breadth of pain experienced by grandparents was complicated by the multigenerational positions grandparents occupy within the family. Transition from before to after the death of a grandchild exacerbated the experience of pain. These findings about the unique footprint of grandparent grief suggest the development of family nursing practice to better understand and support grandparents during the illness of a grandchild, in addition to bereavement support.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Family Nursing
Additional Information:
The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Journal of Family Nursing, 25 (1), 2019, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2019 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the Journal of Family Nursing page: on SAGE Journals Online:
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? bereavementchildgrandparentsgrieffamily nursinghospice carepalliative carefamily practicecommunity and home care ??
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Deposited On:
08 Nov 2018 10:56
Last Modified:
28 Nov 2023 11:51