Research Article

Handling of death in special care nurseries and parental grief.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984; 289 doi: (Published 21 July 1984) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984;289:167
  1. M P White,
  2. B Reynolds,
  3. T J Evans


    The handling of death in a special care nursery and the needs of bereaved parents were studied in 12 families. Communication was good before death but less satisfactory thereafter, particularly with regard to postmortem results and advice concerning recurrence risk. Parents needed a lasting memory of their child and attached great importance to a tangible memento. Half had an abnormally high grief and Leeds scale score six months after the death, which seemed to be associated with poor marital support. All in the high scoring group favoured bereavement counselling. Communication with general practitioners needed improvement. As a result of this study a protocol for the handling of death was designed.