Bereaved relatives’ views on post-mortem is focus of new academic studyTuesday, 13 December, 2011
Researchers at the university have launched a study that aims to explore with sensitivity the experience and views of bereaved relatives and parents in relation to authorised and procurator fiscal post-mortems.
Information collected in the study will help develop services and support for relatives throughout Scotland.
Dr Valerie Sheach Leith, researcher and lecturer at RGU’s Institute for Health and Welfare Research (IHWR) and School of Applied Social Studies is currently seeking participants for the study which is funded by the NHS Grampian Endowment Fund, and carried out in conjunction with her colleagues Drs. Colin Macduff and Audrey Stephen.
The researchers, who are fellow members of the IHWR, have a long standing interest in bereavement care. The project follows from new legislation which was passed in 2006 - The Human Tissue (Scotland) Act - which sets out new guidelines to regulate postmortem practice and the use of human tissue.
The team wish to explore the experiences and views of bereaved relatives and parents in relation to this very important but little talked about area in order to identify good practice and any areas in need of improvement.
Potential participants will be invited to undertake a qualitative interview carried out in confidence by the experienced team of researchers. Having experienced bereavement more than six months but less than five years ago, those eligible to take part in this unique study will have either:
- been approached after the death of an adult relative, child or baby and asked to give consent for a post-mortem, and allowed it to go ahead.
- been asked for consent for their adult relative, child or baby to have a post-mortem and decided not to allow it to be done.
- had an adult relative, child or baby have a post mortem but not been asked for consent.
The research findings will be of particular relevance for all Health Boards in Scotland and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service by informing best practice and the development of effective support in both the NHS and procurator fiscal setting. It will also assist in the training of healthcare professionals and those working in the legal setting. Data will be collected until early spring and a report issued in May 2012.
Dr Valerie Sheach Leith said “It is vital that relatives and parents have the opportunity to talk about their experiences so that future families can receive the best possible care and support at a very difficult time in their lives. Interviews will be carried out sensitively and in confidence and participants’ willingness to be involved will be highly appreciated”.
Those interested in taking part in the study or looking for further information can contact Dr. Valerie Sheach Leith on 01224 263220 or Dr. Audrey Stephen on 01224 263150 or email on PMStudy@rgu.ac.uk.
Communications Officer | Faculty of Health and Social Care
Robert Gordon University
Tel: 01224 262389