Untaming Grief? For Palliative Care Physicians
ABSTRACT Little doubt (if any) remains as to the assured importance of physicians possessing praxis regarding psychosocial issues, including grief dynamics, in order to tend to dying and sorrowing people. It stands to reason then that palliative care physicians become knowledgeable enough about the phenomenon of grief. But imperative nuances must also be considered: what sort of knowledge on grief, as well as how much of such knowledge, is enough? This article poses topical queries on the importance of the palliative care physician exercising a deliberate agenda to persistently refine one's personal framework or beliefs regarding grief. In doing so, it is proposed physicians will engender improved self-knowledge, which will serve to better poise themselves toward being with and purposefully encountering aggrieved others.
Article: Death : The Final Stage of Growth
Article: Bereavement--whose responsibility?[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Bereavement care begins during the terminal phase of motor neurone disease as the family prepare for the death. Due to the long-term nature of the illness there is a need to allow the expression of painful feelings and to ensure that the family is adequately supported. The responsibility for care in bereavement lies not only with the family but with the health care professions, bereavement support groups and the whole community.Palliative Medicine 02/1993; 7(4 Suppl):73-6. DOI:10.1177/026921639300700412 · 2.85 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Medical schools require time for end-of-life topic. However, there is very little medical literature that directly addresses how medical students and residents are to behave, manage emotion, and confront their own grieving process when patients die. The purpose of this study was to understand how preclinical medical students describe feelings toward the death of a hypothetical patient in order to affect curricular change at our institution. Qualitative methods using narrative analysis of student papers to identify patterns, core constructs, and themes related to student's projected feelings on patient death. Federal medical school with volunteer medical students from the class of 2005. Two thirds of the students (108/162) volunteered to participate. Five significant themes emerged including: (1) affective responses (guilt, fear, blame, impotence), (2) personal experience with death, (3) survivorship and professionalism, (4) the meaning of death, and (5) the affects of religion and spirituality. Many feared facing families and responding to grief. An active belief in an afterlife was mentioned as a coping strategy by 40% of the students. End-of-life curriculum is more than teaching about the clinical care of the patient and support of family. These medical students overwhelmingly identified the need for coping strategies when confronting the dying patient. Teaching students these coping strategies should be an integral part of an end-of-life curriculum. Writing exercises cannot only help students recognize and reflect upon their emotions and feelings, but also allow educators a window into curricular elements that need to be added to death and dying education.Journal of Palliative Medicine 05/2005; 8(2):372-81. DOI:10.1089/jpm.2005.8.372 · 2.06 Impact Factor