Feasibility of a Multimedia Program for Parentally Bereaved Children

Abstract

Background

Self-directed multimedia resources that provide psycho-educational information to selected populations have been supported in child health related areas including parenting skills in adults and literacy in children. Comparable programs for use with bereaved children and families have not been adequately developed or empirically examined. Examining usability and satisfaction with such materials is critical, especially when dealing with bereavement.

Objective

This study evaluated the feasibility of the multimedia kit “Talk, Listen, Connect III: When Families Grieve(TLC III)” for use with caregivers and their parentally bereaved children (ages 2–16 years). Primary outcomes included the utilization and overall satisfaction with the TLC III kit and the kit’s impact on caregiver–child communication. Secondary outcomes, engagement, family coping, and caregiver and child grief also were examined.

Participants

Ninety-three caregivers completed pre- and post-viewing questionnaires (59 in the TLC III group, 34 in the comparison group).

Results

Caregiver’s who viewed the TLC III kit materials reported greater satisfaction with kit materials and greater impact on family coping with death than did caregivers who viewed the Ready kit. No significant differences were found with regard to pre- to post-test changes on any of the primary or secondary outcome measures after controlling for pretest scores.

Conclusions

Multimedia programs should be considered as adjuncts or alternatives to traditional therapies and further evaluated for use with parental bereavement; particularly among inaccessible segments of the population. Future studies should consider innovative approaches to examining the effects of such programs on complex problems faced by children.

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Acknowledgments

This research was supported as part of an unrestricted research services agreement funded by Sesame Workshop© (USUHS Site Number G188PG).

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Correspondence to Claudio D. Ortiz.

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Ortiz, C.D., Cozza, S.J., Fullerton, C.S. et al. Feasibility of a Multimedia Program for Parentally Bereaved Children. Child Youth Care Forum 42, 489–506 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10566-013-9216-z

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Keywords

  • Grief
  • Bereavement
  • Multimedia
  • Self-directed
  • Feasibility
  • Pilot