Aims. To explore nurses' attitudes towards perinatal bereavement care and to identify factors associated with these attitudes. Background. It is likely that the attitude of nursing staff can influence recovery from a pregnancy loss and that nurses with positive attitudes to bereavement care can help bereaved parents to cope during their grieving period. Design. Survey. Method. Data were collected through a structured questionnaire; 657 nurses were recruited from Obstetrics and Gynaecology units in Hong Kong and Shandong during 2006. Outcome measures included attitudes towards perinatal bereavement care, importance of hospital policy and training support for bereavement care. Results. The majority of nurses in this study had a positive attitude to bereavement care. Results show that only 21·6% (n = 141) of the nurses surveyed had bereavement-related training. In contrast, about 89·8% (n = 300) believed they needed to be equipped with relevant knowledge, skills and understanding in the care and support of bereaved parents and more than 88·5% (n = 592) would share their experiences with their colleagues and seek support when feeling under stress. A regression model showed that age, past experience in handling grieving parents, recent ranking and nurses' perceived attitudes to hospital policy and training provided for bereavement care were the factors associated with nurses' attitudes to perinatal bereavement care. Conclusions. Nurses in both cities emphasised their need for increased knowledge and experience, improved communication skills and greater support from team members and the hospital for perinatal bereavement care. Relevance to clinical practice. These findings may be used by nursing educators to educate their students on issues related to delivery of sensitive bereavement care in perinatal settings and to enhance nursing school curricula.
- Bereavement care
ASJC Scopus subject areas