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Qualitative synthesis
Threats to parents’ roles during the process of their child dying in the paediatric intensive care unit
  1. Vanessa Battista,
  2. Chris Feudtner
  1. The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  1. Correspondence to : Dr Chris Feudtner, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 34th Street and Civic Center Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA; feudtner{at}

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Implications for practice and research

  • Understanding the experience of being a parent of a child who is dying in the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) can guide clinicians to support these families.

  • Clinicians should allow parents to participate in caregiving, engage them in decision-making, provide information, treat the child as a person, prepare keepsakes and support parents after the child's death.

  • Further research should include perspectives of other family members, such as siblings and grandparents, and describe their experiences of a child who is dying in the PICU.


Beyond the newborn period, the death of a hospitalised child is most likely to occur in the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU). While intensive care environments typically provide highly technical care aimed at sustaining life, growing awareness and acceptance of palliative …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.