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Adult bereavement in five English hospices : participants, organisations and pre-bereavement support.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2006
<mark>Journal</mark>International Journal of Palliative Nursing
Issue number7
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)320-327
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Method: In-depth organisational case studies of five English hospice bereavement services. Analysis: Thematic analysis of qualitative interviews and focus groups and scrutiny of documentary material provided by the hospice bereavement services. Findings: Despite the differences in philosophies and activities among the hospices a common pattern of support were apparent. All made contact with the bereaved relatives or main carers shortly after the patient’s death, all provided information about practical and emotional aspects of bereavement and a mixture of social and therapeutic support. None of the hospices used formal ‘risk assessment’, but at all sites there were processes in place to identify people who might benefit from bereavement support. Pre-bereavement support and continuity between this and bereavement support were important aspects. Conclusions: The case studies allowed analysis of individual characteristics and comparison between services. The high response rates suggest thst the questionnaires used were acceptable to bereaved people. A clear and explicit rationale for bereavement support activities is a pre-requisite for the development of a cohesive and integrated programme of support to help resolve difficult decisions about individual clients. Prebereavement support by hospice staff positively contributes to the person’s experience of bereavement. Hospices should address the issue of providing the appropriate level of bereavement support.