Assessment of the risk of adverse bereavement outcomes is difficult. The first part of this chapter provides guidelines, based on the best available evidence, to assist in the identification of people at risk of adverse bereavement outcomes. The second part discusses the place of the health professional's own bereavement history, notes the importance of grief education and understanding the person and family and provides examples of different types of general bereavement support.

Contents include

  • Assessment
    • underlying assumptions
    • Timing and people involved
    • The concept of 'complicated bereavement'
    • Targeting bereavement interventions
    • The guidelines
  • Support
    • Personal experience
    • Education about grief
    • Understanding the patient and family
    • Bereavement support
  • Conclusion
  • Appendix 20.1- Checklist of risk factors for complicated bereavement outcomes
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Author / Editor Biographies

RN. Oncology/Palliative & Aged Care.
Donna is a registered nurse who has spent many years specialising in cancer nursing and works as a research fellow at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute, Melbourne. The focus of Donna's master's degree was the needs and experiences of family caregivers of people with advanced cancer. Donna has worked as a research fellow at the Centre for Palliative Care and the Victorian Centre for Nursing Practice Research at the University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Donna has been involved in research projects on family caregivers, breast-care nurses, symptom management, bereavement risk assessmen...
Regina is a member of the Sisters of Charity, Australia. She graduated from St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney (New South Wales, Australia) in 1971 and worked for 20 years as a registered nurse focusing on nurse education. After spending 12 months at the Institute of Religious Formation in St Louis (Missouri, USA), Regina's first position in palliative care was with the pastoral care team at Sacred Heart Hospice, Darlinghurst (New South Wales, Australia). She then began community-based palliative care in 1994 as a pastoral carer on the multidisciplinary team of Caritas Christi and the Order of Malt...

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