Aim To explore the grief reactions of neonatal nurses caring for dying babies.
Methods This study utilises a qualitative research design. Focus group methods explored neonatal nurses' beliefs, perceptions and experiences of death, dying, grief and loss associated with clinical practice in the neonatal intensive care unit. A deductive data analysis framework was employed to catalogue participant responses into corresponding constructs.
Results Data collected from the focus group interviews were aggregated in deductive analysis against three constructs: Acknowledgement of loss; recognition of the relationship; and inclusion of the griever.
Conclusion The findings from this research contribute to a definition of grief as a pervasive, highly individualized, dynamic process that often is discussed normatively within professional healthcare disciplines. Neonatal nurses routinely deal with grief and feelings of loss. It is important that a framework be developed to help understand the process and to guide appropriate interventions for ongoing support.