Many pediatric hospitals provide legacy interventions to families to improve coping and assist sorrow before and after a child’s death. Despite this practice, parental opinions of the benefit of legacy activities are poorly defined, and optimal practices for giving and producing legacy interventions are unknown. For a study, researchers sought to present parent ideas for enhancing legacy activity provision by child life experts and music therapists; to define bereaved parents’ perceptions of the importance of legacy activities.
In the qualitative study, 19 grieving parents of children who died from cancer took part in semi-structured interviews. To discover essential concepts and develop themes, interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and examined inductively using content analysis.
Transcript analysis showed bereaved parents’ views and recommendations across three major themes: the worth of legacy things and interventions; the actual roles, applications, and functions of legacy items; and best practices for providing legacy interventions. Bereaved parents sought meaning and purpose in both abstract and physical representations of legacy. Parents frequently used legacy things in specific ways to encourage emotional expression and grief processing. Communication, timeliness, and originality all had a significant impact on parents’ impressions of legacy-building. Parents suggested individualized evaluations to maximize the provision of legacy treatments.
Bereaved parents stressed the importance of legacy-building activities and the need to provide these interventions in a customized manner. Future studies should examine patients’ and siblings’ perceptions and recommendations on legacy activities.