Research and commentary

When a child dies, grandparents have unique support needs, study finds

The emotional pain felt by grandparents is often overlooked 

The emotional pain felt by grandparents is often overlooked

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Study finds grandparents who experience the death of a grandchild are in a unique position and have needs that can go unmet. Christine English looks at the evidence and implications for children's nurses.

Tatterton MJ, Walshe C (2019) How grandparents experience the death of a grandchild with a life-limiting condition. Journal of Family Nursing. 25, 1, 109-127.


To explore how the context of family affects the experience of grandparents and how grandparents conceptualise the illness and subsequent death of a grandchild.


Seven grandparents took part in the study, recruited through children’s hospices in the north of England. An interpretive phenomenological approach was used, and data collected through semi-structured interviews, which were audio recorded and transcribed.


Four themes were identified that focused


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