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The role of volunteers in hospice bereavement support in New Zealand.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>03/2001
<mark>Journal</mark>Palliative Medicine
Issue number2
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)107-115
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The purpose of this study was to assess the role of hospice bereavement volunteers in New Zealand. Participants included 34 co-ordinators and 121 volunteers from 26 hospices. Co-ordinators and volunteers were asked about the perceived adequacy of their training, support and deployment. Findings revealed that most volunteers were recruited through personal contact and newspapers. They reported being strongly motivated to help others (88%) and most had previous bereavements (71%). Volunteers provided a wide range of bereavement support within the home and/or hospice. They listed twice as many ‘satisfying’ compared to ‘least satisfying’ (442 vs 207) aspects of their work, although 50% reported their work to be emotionally distressing and 28% had problems with ‘boundaries’. Two-thirds had generic volunteer training, but only a third had specific training in bereavement. Volunteers appeared to be largely unaware of the need for specialist training, or supervision, which raises issues about the quality of services provided.