Background Approximately 4% of the children admitted to the PICU at Odense University Hospital, Denmark, dies every year. Parents are invited routinely for a multidisciplinary follow-up conversation in the PICU 4–8 weeks after the child’s death. There are no previous studies on parents’ experiences of these follow-ups in Denmark.
Aim To identify parents’ experience of the follow-up conversation and to investigate whether it is adequate for the needs of parents for a follow-up after their child’s death in the PICU.
Methods Semi-structured interviews with 6 pairs of parents 2–12 weeks after the follow-up conversation. The interviews were held in their own homes on the parents’ request. Data was analysed using Malteruds’ qualitative approach.
Results The analysis revealed the following themes: The way back to the PICU
Certainty and clarity
Close and known relationships
Completion of the stay in the PICU
Conclusions The parents were experiencing nervousness before the follow-up conversation, but were all pleased to have participated in these follow-ups. It was meaningful to the parents that the follow-up conversation was interdisciplinary, since it was possible to get answers to questions both about treatment and care. It was important that the staff involved in the follow-up conversation was the same that had been present through the hospitalisation and at the time of death of the child. It was very important that parents were invited to the follow-up conversation. Parents experienced the follow-up conversation as being a completion of the course in the PICU, regardless the length of the hospitalisation.