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J Perinat Neonatal Nurs. 2011 Jan-Mar;25(1):61-9; quiz 70-1. doi: 10.1097/JPN.0b013e318209e1d2.

Neonatal end-of-life spiritual support care.

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Department of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine, Division of Nursing and Newborn Intensive Care, St Louis Children's Hospital St‚ÄČLouis, Missouri 63110, USA.


The death of an infant is a profound loss that may complicate, disrupt, or end relationships between parents; and lead to maladaptive grieving, long-term decreased quality of life, and symptoms related to psychological morbidity. Facing neonatal loss is frequently experienced as traumatic assault on parents' spiritual and existential world of meaning. This article highlights the importance of supporting parents through loss by providing comprehensive care that focuses not only on the neonate's physical needs, but also addresses parents' and families' spiritual, religious, and existential needs. Our objective is to increase practitioners' awareness of spiritual and existential distress and to provide strategies to address such needs, particularly at the end of life.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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