Assessing Bereaved Parents’ Perspectives of Legacy Interventions

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Amy Love

Numerous people are affected when a child dies- particularly caregivers. This can be a vulnerable time and families may benefit from increased psychosocial services to mitigate complicated grief. Legacy interventions, such as heartbeat songs and handprint pictures, may be a possible avenue to provide support and honor the life of a patient. However, few studies are available that support the use of these interventions or describe any potential benefits. To address this gap in the literature, bereaved parents were interviewed regarding their legacy items and their role in overall coping. Preliminary findings and suggestions for best practices will be discussed.

This presentation will be in a lecture format with potential discussion following the dissemination of results.

Learner Objectives:

Learn to best assess & provide individualized legacy interventions that will support a caregiver’s anticipatory grief, prior to a child’s death. (CBMT Domain III.2.j)

Recognize how legacy interventions may negatively impact a parent’s long-term coping and the importance of providing these with care. (CBMT Domain I.2)

Identify the literature that supports the use of legacy-building interventions prior to the death of a patient. (CBMT Domain II.D.2b)

Target Audience:

Students, Entry-level professionals, Experienced professionals

Presenter Biographies:

Amy Love is a music therapist that currently specializes in work with pediatric patients who have solid tumor and neuro-oncology diagnoses. She has a great passion for the pediatric music therapy and hopes to foster confidence, connection and resiliency in music therapy students and professionals interested in this population.

Katie Greer is a certified child life specialist who works with patients of all ages in a hematology outpatient clinic. She enjoys conducting research alongside her clinical role. Katie has a passion for grief related topics and staff development that best supports patients and families coping needs.