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Teenagers' reasoning about a parent's recent death in cancer
Ersta Sköndal University College, Palliative Research Centre, PRC.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5523-8126
Ersta Sköndal University College, Palliative Research Centre, PRC. Karolinska institutet.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8185-781X
Ersta sjukhus, Hospicekliniken, Stockholm.
Ersta Sköndal University College, Palliative Research Centre, PRC. Ersta Sköndal University College, Department of Health Care Sciences. Capio Palliativ vård Dalens sjukhus, Stockholm, Karolinska institutet, Stockholm.
2016 (English)In: Palliative & Supportive Care, ISSN 1478-9515, E-ISSN 1478-9523, Vol. 14, no 4, 349-357 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective: The aim of the study was to explore how teenagers reason about a parent's recent death and about their life without that parent.

Method: A total of 10 teenagers (aged 14–19 years, 7 boys and 3 girls) were interviewed twice, 3–12 months after their parent's death. The interviews were carried out individually and as free-ranging conversations. A content analysis with a descriptive and interpretive design was conducted.

Results: Importantly, all teenagers appreciated participating in the interviews. Some had not previously talked in such depth about this with anyone, while others had more open communications within their families and with others. Their parent's death was the worst thing that could happen, but they still expressed the feeling that it had been a relief for both the ill parent and themselves. The death had relieved the parent from suffering and a life with severe illness. Many of the teenagers empathized with the surviving parent's grief and worried about him or her as well as the entire home situation. As a consequence, the teenagers did not show their grief, as they did not want to burden the grieving parent. Seeing the parent grieving could lead to feelings of loneliness and hopelessness and that the support they needed was not there for them. Nevertheless, some teenagers could grieve together with the surviving parent in common understanding and with openness.

Significance of Results: A tentative conclusion is that the teenagers who were more likely to talk and grieve together with their surviving parent coped better with their situation than teenagers who did not. Parentally bereaved teenagers tend to take on a responsibility to support the grieving parent, when it is they themselves who need and should receive support.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 14, no 4, 349-357 p.
Keyword [en]
Cancer, Dying, Palliative care, Parent, Qualitative, Teenagers
National Category
Nursing
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:esh:diva-4924DOI: 10.1017/S1478951515001054PubMedID: 26462758OAI: oai:DiVA.org:esh-4924DiVA: diva2:872123
Available from: 2015-11-18 Created: 2015-11-18 Last updated: 2017-03-31Bibliographically approved

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