Holding a Place: Parents' Lives Following Removal of Infant Life Support

Debra C. Armentrout

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    15 Scopus citations


    There are 34 000 neonatal deaths occurring annually in the United States, many of which occur after removal of life support. The purposes of this grounded theory study were to explore and describe parents' experiences with making the decision to discontinue life support for their critically ill infant and to identify the process that allows them to then move forward with their lives after the infant's death. Data were generated by face-to-face and telephone interviews with a theoretical sample of 15 parents. Three thematic concepts with subthemes emerged: Facing the Decision (No Real Choice, Time with the Infant), Life Goes On (Listen to Your Heart, An Abiding Loss, Not Left Out), and Lives Forever Changed (New Perspectives, Preparing to Meet Again). The substantive theory, The Process of Holding a Place, describes the basic social process parents used to carry their deceased infant forward with them in their daily lives.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)e4-e11
    JournalNewborn and Infant Nursing Reviews
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Mar 2007


    • Neonatal life support
    • Newborn death
    • Perinatal loss

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Pediatrics


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