Telling adolescents a parent is dying

Denice Kopchak Sheehan, Claire Burke Draucker, Grace H. Christ, M. Murray Mayo, Kim Heim, Stephanie Parish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: When a parent is terminally ill, one of the major challenges facing families is informing children of the parent's condition and prognosis. This study describes four ways in which parents disclose information about a parent's life-threatening illness to their adolescent children. Methods: We audio-recorded and transcribed 61 individual interviews with hospice patients who were recruited from a large hospice in northeastern Ohio, their spouses/partners, and their adolescent children. The interviews were coded and analyzed using a constant comparison approach. Results and Conclusions: Families inform adolescents about the progression of a parent's terminal illness in characteristic ways that remain fairly consistent throughout the illness, and are aimed at easing the adolescents' burden and distress. The families engaged in the process of disclosure in one of four ways: measured telling, skirted telling, matter-of-fact telling, and inconsistent telling. These results will inform the development of interventions that assist families with disclosure and are tailored to each family's communication style.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)512-520
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of palliative medicine
Volume17
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2014

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Parents
Hospices
Disclosure
Interviews
Terminally Ill
Spouses
Communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

Cite this

Kopchak Sheehan, D., Burke Draucker, C., Christ, G. H., Murray Mayo, M., Heim, K., & Parish, S. (2014). Telling adolescents a parent is dying. Journal of palliative medicine, 17(5), 512-520. https://doi.org/10.1089/jpm.2013.0344

Telling adolescents a parent is dying. / Kopchak Sheehan, Denice; Burke Draucker, Claire; Christ, Grace H.; Murray Mayo, M.; Heim, Kim; Parish, Stephanie.

In: Journal of palliative medicine, Vol. 17, No. 5, 01.05.2014, p. 512-520.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kopchak Sheehan, D, Burke Draucker, C, Christ, GH, Murray Mayo, M, Heim, K & Parish, S 2014, 'Telling adolescents a parent is dying', Journal of palliative medicine, vol. 17, no. 5, pp. 512-520. https://doi.org/10.1089/jpm.2013.0344
Kopchak Sheehan D, Burke Draucker C, Christ GH, Murray Mayo M, Heim K, Parish S. Telling adolescents a parent is dying. Journal of palliative medicine. 2014 May 1;17(5):512-520. https://doi.org/10.1089/jpm.2013.0344
Kopchak Sheehan, Denice ; Burke Draucker, Claire ; Christ, Grace H. ; Murray Mayo, M. ; Heim, Kim ; Parish, Stephanie. / Telling adolescents a parent is dying. In: Journal of palliative medicine. 2014 ; Vol. 17, No. 5. pp. 512-520.
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