We all experience daily stress in our lives. For the families with dying children, that stress can be challenging to deal with. According to Davies, Steele, Collins, Cook, and Smith (2004), a primary goal of pediatric hospice is to help patients and their families cope with the physical and emotional effects of death and dying. Hospice allows the families to receive services in the comfort of their own home, but, can also be given in a hospital or other care facility. It is often apparent that many families wish for their children to be at home around their family and own personal belongings. Many hospice programs offer bereavement services to parents and siblings after the death of a child (Davies, Collins, Steele, Cook, Distler, Brenner, 2006).
A family of children attending a hospice program include a range of individuals, such as, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, cousins and even close friends within the community. Davis (1996) suggests that the family is the central unit of care within the program, and special attention must be given to developmental levels of family members. Many families with chronically ill children face a substantial disruptions in lifestyles, marital satisfaction, employment, and divorce (Davis, 1996).
Article Summary One
“The Impact on Families of a Children’s Hospice Program” (Davies et al., 2003)
This article describes the first two years of a facility known as the Canuck Place. According to the article, a local National Hockey League, Vancouver Canunks, sponsored the hospice program by serving as their fundraising venue. The children’s hospice program was designed to provide continuous care in three components. These components include respite, palliative, and bereavement.
Article one reports on an evaluation that observed the effects the children’s hospice program had on the families it served. For the evaluation, known as Family Voices, parents were used to provide information and guidance for the project. Principal investigators, research coordinators, research assistants, and clinical liaisons made up the project management team.
Data was collected from four groups of people totaling about 273 participants. The four groups consisted of user families, non-user families, staff nurses, and other outside healthcare professionals. Collection methods involved focus groups, phone interviews, face-to-face interviews, and mail-out questionnaires.
Eighteen families (precisely 36 parents, four ill children, and 10 siblings) had face-to-face interviews and ten non-user families had interviews conducted via telephone. The family face-to-face interviews were conducted with other user family members with built in probes to encourage discussion of certain features of the program. Interviews via telephone were used to investigate reasoning’s for not using the program or resources.
Also, 70 families out of the 144 families returned the mailed questionnaire. According to the...