Teenagers want to be told when a parent's death is near: A nationwide study of cancer-bereaved youths' opinions and experiences.
Valdimarsdóttir, Unnur A
Fürst, Carl Johan
Informa UK Limited
MetadataShow full item record
Bylund-Grenklo, T., Kreicbergs, U., Uggla, C., Valdimarsdóttir, U. A., Nyberg, T., Steineck, G., & Fürst, C. J. (2015). Teenagers want to be told when a parent's death is near: A nationwide study of cancer-bereaved youths' opinions and experiences.. Acta Oncol, 54 (6), 944-950. https://doi.org/10.3109/0284186X.2014.978891
BACKGROUND: We aimed to investigate cancer-bereaved youths' opinions and experiences of being told about a parent's imminent death from cancer and of barriers to this communication. MATERIAL AND METHODS: This nationwide population-based survey included 622/851 (73%) youths (aged 18-26) who at age 13-16, 6-9 years earlier had lost a parent to cancer. RESULTS: In total 595 of 610 (98%) of the participants stated that teenage children should be informed when the parent's death was imminent (i.e. a matter of hours or days, not weeks). 59% stated that they themselves had been told this, 37% by the parents, 7% by parents and healthcare professionals together and 8% by professionals only. Frequent reasons for why the teenager and parents did not talk about imminent death before loss were that one (n=106) or both (n=25) of the parents together with the teenage child had pretended that the illness was not that serious, or that none of the parents had been aware that death was imminent (n=80). Up to a couple of hours before the loss, 43% of participants had not realized that death was imminent. CONCLUSION: In this population-based study virtually all youth who at ages 13-16 had lost a parent to cancer afterwards stated that teenagers should be told when loss is near, i.e. a matter of hours or days, not weeks. Many stated that they had not been given this information and few were informed by professionals, with implications for future improvements in end-of-life care of patients with teenage children.
Humans, Neoplasms, Terminal Care, Attitude to Death, Communication Barriers, Truth Disclosure, Parent-Child Relations, Parents, Professional-Family Relations, Adolescent, Adult, Child, Child of Impaired Parents, Sweden, Female, Male, Young Adult, Psychology, Adolescent, Surveys and Questionnaires
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.3109/0284186X.2014.978891
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/277332