Background and aims Demise of a baby has profound consequences on the parents and providing appropriate support is the responsibility of multi-disciplinary team.1
Aim To compare the uptake of bereavement services between two tertiary neonatal units (NNU), and to investigate factors influencing it.
Methods The medical and bereavement records of all neonatal deaths from January 2006 to December 2011 studied. Data collected: parent and infant characteristics, mode of death and bereavement follow-up. The categorical data was compared by chi-square or Fisher’s exact test and continuous data by Wilcoxon signed-rank test using SPSS 22.0.
Results 297 babies (182 in NNU1 and 115 in NNU2) were studied. Significantly higher proportion of NNU1 parents (61%) attended bereavement follow-up compared to NNU2 (34%; p < 0.01). The number of parents married/co-habiting (p = 0.01), worse obstetric history with more stillborn/miscarriages (p = 0.03) and non-Caucasian parents from lower socio-economic status (p = 0.01) was significantly higher in NNU1. More infants had care withdrawn in NNU2 (p < 0.01). There was no significant difference in rest of the infant and parent characteristics studied. Among the group who availed bereavement services (n = 149), significantly more infants were inborn (p = 0.01), male (p = 0.01), had post-mortem examination (p = 0.01) and parents of higher socio-economic status (p = 0.01) and married or co-habiting (p = 0.05).
Conclusion Uptake of bereavement services varied across the NNUs. Significantly more parents of infants who were inborn, male, consented for post-mortem, from a higher socio-economic status and married or co-habiting attended bereavement follow up.
Mancini A et al. BAPM Palliative care guideline 2014;Pg 17
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