Background: Although bereaved parents suffer greatly, some may experience positive change referred to as post-traumatic growth. Objective: Explore the extent to which parents perceive post-traumatic growth after their child's death in a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), and associated factors. Design: Longitudinal parent survey conducted 6 and 13 months after a child's death. Surveys included the Post-traumatic Growth Inventory-Short Form (PTGI-SF), a 10-item measure with range of 0-50 where higher scores indicate more post-traumatic growth. Surveys also included the Inventory of Complicated Grief (ICG), the Patient Health Questionnaire-8 (PHQ-8) for depression, the Short Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Rating Interview (SPRINT), a single item on perceived overall health, and sociodemographics. Setting/Subjects: One hundred fifty-seven parents of 104 children who died in 1 of 8 PICUs affiliated with the U.S. Collaborative Pediatric Critical Care Research Network. Results: Of participating parents, 62.4% were female, 71.6% White, 82.7% married, and 89.2% had at least a high school education. Mean PTGI-SF scores were 27.5 ± 12.52 (range 5-50) at 6 months and 28.6 ± 11.52 (range 2-49) at 13 months (p = 0.181). On multivariate modeling, higher education (compared with those not completing high school) and higher 6-month ICG scores (reflecting more complicated grief symptoms) were associated with lower 13-month PTGI-SF scores (p = 0.005 and 0.033, respectively). Conclusion: Parents bereaved by their child's PICU death perceive a moderate degree of post-traumatic growth in the first 13 months after the death however variability is wide. Education level and complicated grief symptoms may influence parents' perception of post-traumatic growth.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
- Pediatric intensive care unit
- Post-traumatic growth