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J Clin Nurs. 2011 Feb;20(3-4):408-19. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2010.03523.x. Epub 2010 Oct 14.

Development and implementation of a bereavement follow-up intervention for grieving fathers: an action research.

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  • 1Department of Nursing Science, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland. anna.l.aho@uta.fi



The aim is to present the development and implementation of a bereavement follow-up intervention for grieving fathers. The development and implementation process and components of the intervention are presented.


There is a lack of research into fathers' grief and bereavement support for them after the death of a child. Promotion of evidence-based nursing requires transparent development and implementation of nursing interventions and models to be able to repeat, evaluate their effectiveness and redevelop them.


Phases of action research were used when developing and implementing the intervention.


Results of the baseline study of father's grief and social support, the study of current bereavement support and the literature review were combined using triangulation.


In this action research, the development of a bereavement follow-up intervention for grieving fathers began with the planning phase that included a baseline study about fathers' grief and social support, a study of current bereavement support systems in Finnish university hospitals and a systematic review of literature on the topic area and collaboration with a panel of experts. The developed bereavement follow-up intervention included three complementary components: support package, peer supporters' contact and health care personnel's contact. Implementation of the intervention included the development of a programme to be used in nursing practice, intervention training for programme implementers and intervention implementation.


Developing and implementing an intervention is a complex, demanding and long-term process. The planning required theoretical knowledge as well as understanding the experiences of fathers, nursing practice and collaboration with those who implemented the intervention.


New information about the fathers' grief and bereavement follow-up support is described. The model developed is evidence-based and can be applied in nursing care where grieving fathers and families are met.

© 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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