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Bereavement Assessment Practice in Hospice Settings: Challenges for Palliative Care Social Workers

Agnew, Audrey, Manktelow, Roger, Haynes, Tommy and Jones, Louise (2011) Bereavement Assessment Practice in Hospice Settings: Challenges for Palliative Care Social Workers. British Journal of Social Work, -41 . pp. 111-130. [Journal article]


DOI: doi:10.1093/bjsw/bcq055


The management and delivery of bereavement support services in palliative care settings present practical and ethical challenges. A national survey, conducted in 2007, examined bereavement practice in ten Marie Curie hospices across the UK. This qualitativestudy was undertaken using semi-structured telephone interviews with Bereavement Service Leaders located in each hospice. Although findings revealed that bereavement services were in operation and had been reviewed in response to the National Institute for Clinical Excellence Guidance (2004) and all bereaved families were offered support, there was no standardisation of service delivery across sites. Multidisciplinary team meetings facilitated shared decision making for bereavement follow-up and expanded and clarified documentation completed by nursing staff around the time of the patient’s death. However, there was ambiguity regarding professional ‘duty of care’ and agency responses to bereaved individuals who were suicidal. Questions were raised around clinical effectiveness, reliability and professional accountability. The study highlighted ethical issues centred on documentation, user participation and consent, and found staff training was variable across the ten hospices. The findings have informed the development of a post-bereavement service model that has been subsequently implemented.across Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Item Type:Journal article
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Sociology and Applied Social Studies
Research Institutes and Groups:Institute for Research in Social Sciences
ID Code:15889
Deposited By: Dr Roger Manktelow
Deposited On:12 Apr 2011 13:59
Last Modified:17 Oct 2017 15:54

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