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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Child Life Influences on End-of-Life Care Experiences for Children: The Medical Professional Care Team Perspective
by Wilson, Samantha R, M.A., Mills College, 2019, 73; 13879640
Abstract (Summary)

The reality of pediatric death in the United States is that, “50,000 children die, mostly in hospitals” (Kang, et al., 2005). Thus, the crucial role of the child life specialist is one whose background, training, and aim is to support children and families’ psychosocial and emotional needs through bereavement experience of a child, and helping families cope through a child’s death (Feudtner, et al., 2007). Certified Child Life Specialists (CCLS) are members of the medical healthcare team, whose role is to develop effective interventions for young patients, their families, and foster children’s developmentally appropriate coping techniques (Thompson & Snow, 2009).

Three participants were interviewed using semi structured interviews. Participants consisted of doctors, nurses, and social workers who have career experience on multidisciplinary end-of-life care teams. Results revealed four overarching constructs finding that medical professionals who have worked with child life services believe these specialists can make a more positive impact for all involved in an end-of-life experience. Yet end-of-life care is an area that seems to have the least amount of resources and support for staff as well as research to support child life professional’s involvement within their team. Using the perspective of medical professionals who work with child life in this setting, this thesis hopes to pave the way for future research to fill the current gap in literature to support the need for child life in end-of-life care settings by asking the question: how are child life services viewed by medical professionals for end-of-life care for a child?

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Leigh, Korie, Lin, Betty
School: Mills College
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 58/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Developmental psychology, Health care management
Keywords: Bereavement, Child life services, Child life specialist, Hospital intensive care units, Medical professionals, Pediatric hospice care
Publication Number: 13879640
ISBN: 978-1-392-30218-7
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