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Resources and information on bereavement and grief for the public and healthcare professionals.

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Bereavement and Grief Resources and Support

This guide provide information and resources about bereavement and loss. 

For more information information on bereavement, including details of workshops and education programmes visit the dedicated bereavement section of the Irish Hospice Foundation's website.  

 

The Therese Brady Bereavement Library at the Irish Hospice Foundation 

 

Recent Articles & Commentary

Burnout in Home Palliative Care: What Is the Role of Coping Strategies?

Journal of Palliative Care Vol 35, Issue 1, 2020 Read more 
 

 

Bereaved mothers' and fathers' prolonged grief and psychological health 1 to 5 years after loss—A nationwide study

Cancer‐bereaved mothers and fathers are vulnerable to prolonged grief and psychological symptoms up to 5 years after the death of their child. Findings highlight that bereaved parents may need long‐term support, and the results deserve further attention in research and clinical care. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved). Read more 

 

Experiences of support from primary care and perceived needs of parents bereaved by suicide: a qualitative study

People bereaved by suicide are a vulnerable group, also at risk of dying by suicide. The importance of postvention support (intervention after suicide) has recently been highlighted; however, little is known about the support needs of parents bereaved by suicide in the UK, and the role played by general practice. Read more 

CSO Vital Statistics Annual Report 2017 - released 31 October 2019 

 The number of births to teenage mothers has more than halved in 10 years

  • Cancer and circulatory disease were the biggest causes of death in Ireland in 2017
  • Four-fifths of suicide deaths in 2017 were male

A Brief Psychodynamic and Person-Centered Approach to Address Anticipatory Loss in Acute Care Settings

Abstract:   Palliative care addresses the biopsychosocial and spiritual distress of people with critical and chronic illness. Depending on the trajectory of an illness, a social worker in an acute care setting may have a limited number of opportunities to engage in meaningful interaction with an emotionally distressed patient. The social worker is often faced with providing care to a patient who is having the dual experience of maintaining hope for medical improvement and anticipating loss. This article offers therapeutic practice skills needed by social workers to address the experience of anticipatory loss in an acute care setting. Brief psychodynamic and person-centered therapy, provided in combination, are highlighted as one method to explore a patient's feelings and wishes in the face of critical illness. Case-based vignettes illustrate how five open-ended questions help mitigate suffering and heighten a patient's sense of autonomy and self-worth.

 

 The Coping Assessment for Bereavement and Loss Experiences (CABLE): Development and initial validation

 Abstract: The authors present the development and validation of the Coping Assessment for Bereavement and Loss Experiences (CABLE), the first instrument designed to assess a range of potentially constructive strategies for coping with grief following the death of a loved one. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis with an international sample of bereaved adults (N = 844) yielded a six-factor, 28-item structure. Use of this validated, clinically useful, self-report tool can inform clinicians and researchers in evaluating bereavement coping, and in developing interventions designed to increase the number and broaden the types of coping strategies used to facilitate healing following loss.

 

Complicated grief therapy for clinicians: An evidence‐based protocol for mental health practice

 Abstract: In the United States alone, about 10 million persons are newly bereaved each year. Most do not require professional intervention or treatment, but many can benefit from targeted support. However, a significant minority of bereaved persons experience intense, prolonged and disabling grief symptoms associated with considerable morbidity and mortality (aka, “Complicated Grief”). Individuals with Complicated Grief require more formal interventions. In this article, we describe a compassionate and evidence‐based approach to bereavement‐care that can be provided in varied mental health settings. For individuals struggling with acute grief, clinicians can help by providing recognition and acceptance of the grief, eliciting and compassionately listening to their narratives of their relationship with the deceased and the death, and regularly “checking in” regarding their grief experiences. For bereaved persons who are experiencing Complicated Grief, we recommend an evidence‐based approach to bereavement‐care, complicated grief therapy (CGT), that involves helping the individual accept and cope with the loss while simultaneously assisting them with adaptation to life without the deceased. We describe ways of implementing CGT's seven core themes: (1) understanding and accepting grief, (2) managing painful emotions, (3) planning for a meaningful future, (4) strengthening ongoing relationships, (5) telling the story of the death, (6) learning to live with reminders, and (7) establishing an enduring connection with memories of the person who died. This work can be done in a variety of settings, taking into consideration the needs of the patient, the limitations of the setting, and the skills and experiences of each clinician.

 

 “If only…”: Counterfactual  thinking in bereavement

When grief over the death of a loved one becomes complicated, protracted and circular, ruminative counterfactual thinking in which the bereaved relentlessly but vainly seeks to somehow reverse the tragedy of the loss often plays a contributory role in sustaining the person’s suffering. In this article we summarize the growing evidence implicating this cognitive process in interfering with meaning reconstruction following loss, and identify four foci for counterfactual, “if only” cognition, directed at the self, the deceased, relevant others, or the circumstances of the death itself. We then illustrate each with an actual case vignette, along with approaches to resolving, dissolving, mitigating, or redirecting such rumination, and conclude with a general principle of practice for other therapists whose clients struggle with similarly anguished and entrenched counterfactual preoccupations.

** Irish Research  

News about bereavement and grief

How do you get bereaved fathers to talk? Bring a football - Irish Times 28 January 2020

Analysing Paid Bereavement Leave Around the World - HR News 28 January 2020

Bereaved parents to be entitled to two weeks' paid leave from work - Guardian 23 January 2020

‘How to live and die well’: what I learned from working in an NHS hospice - Guardian 18th January 2020

The Funeral Director: An exquisite, profound portrait of a profession - Irish Times 12th December 2019 

Comic supports young people in dealing with bereavement - University of Strathclyde, Glasgow 10th December 2019

Coping with grief at Christmas: here’s why you need to abandon traditions - Daily Telegraph 5th December 2019 

Born sleeping: how I grieved for the much-loved daughter I lost before her birth - The Guardian,  October 28th 

Does Your Boss Have Your Back When a Loved One Dies? - The Wall Street Journal, October 28th 

 
 
 We need to talk about grief at work - The Irish Times,  October  22nd 
 
Raising a Twinless Twin - The New York Times,  October 18h 
 
 
 

Recent Research

National Health Library & Knowledge Service. Health Service Executive. Dr. Steevens' Hospital, Dublin 8. Tel: 01-6352555/8. Email: hselibrary@hse.ie

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