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Grief and Bereavement
Various definitions have been developed for the terms associated with the loss of a loved one. Bereavement is the state of having lost a significant other to death; grief is the personal response to the loss; and mourning is the public expression of that loss. The experience of grief is commonly influenced by the nature of the loss, whether sudden and unexpected, traumatic, or following a prolonged illness, which often allows for the beginning of the grief process days, weeks or months before the loss actually occurs.
Bereavement is a very individual process. No two persons experience grief in quite the same way. The meaning of the loss is different even for members of the same family. Accordingly, the emotions and significance of the loss will be different for each person as well. Grief may be strong or weak, prolonged or brief, immediate or delayed.
The goals of care for bereaved persons are to support and facilitate a normal grief process, thereby preventing or minimizing physical or mental health deterioration, and to detect bereavement complications so as to offer timely and appropriate treatment options. Medications, counseling and lifestyle interventions are often used.
Get the Facts... With your MediFocus Guide
The Medifocus Guide on Grief and Bereavement provides answers to the following important questions and medical issues:
- What are the most common symptoms of grief and bereavement?
- Are there any recognized risk factors for developing grief and bereavement?
- What kinds of medical tests are used to establish the diagnosis of grief and bereavement?
- What is the current standard of care for the treatment of grief and bereavement?
- What treatment options are available for the management of grief and bereavement?
- Are there any promising new developments or potential breakthroughs in treatment?
- Who are the most notable medical authorities who specialize in grief and bereavement?
- Where are the leading hospitals and centers of research for grief and bereavement?
- What are the most important questions to ask my doctor about grief and bereavement?
What Your Doctor Reads:
This MediFocus Guide contains an extensive listing of citations and abstracts of recent journal articles that have been published about this condition in trustworthy medical journals. This is the same type of information that is available to physicians and other health care professionals. A partial selection of journal articles that are abstracted in this MediFocus Guide includes:
- How can you help the bereaved patient?.
- Chronic sorrow in parents of children with newly diagnosed diabetes: a review of the literature and discussion of the implications for nursing practice.
Journal of Advanced Nursing. 2000
- Photographs and mementos. The emergency nurse's role following sudden infant death.
Emergency Nurse. 2000
- The lived experience of grieving for persons living with HIV who have used injection drugs.
Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care. 2000
- Support for women/families after perinatal death.
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews [computer file]. 2000
- Acute and post-traumatic stress disorder after spontaneous abortion.
American Family Physician. 2000
- On the classification and diagnosis of pathological grief.
Clinical Psychology Review. 2000
- Consensus criteria for traumatic grief. A preliminary empirical test.
British Journal of Psychiatry. 1999
- Bereavement and loss in childhood.
Child & Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America. 1998
- Loss, grief, and bereavement in family members of cancer patients.
Seminars in Oncology Nursing. 1998
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