Bereavement needs assessment inspecialist palliative care: a review of the literature

Audrey Agnew, Roger Manktelow, Louise Jones

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    Abstract

    Bereavement needs assessment for specialist palliative care services has been highlighted as important by NICE guidanceon palliative care for adults with cancer. Identifying and implementing appropriate bereavement measurement tools hasremained a challenge. This paper identifies and reviews bereavement measurement tools to determine their suitability foruse within bereavement services and hospice settings. Cochrane, MEDLINE, PsycINFO and CINAHL, electronic databaseswere searched, yielding 486 papers. From fifty-nine full text papers appraised, 10 measurement tools were analysedin detail. Some tools had been tested on specific populations which limited transferability to specialist palliative caresettings; some lacked adequate theoretical links and were not effective in discriminating between normal and complicatedgrief reactions; and some lacked clear evidence of validity or reliability. Based on these criteria, conclusions are drawnabout the suitability of particular tools for UK bereavement services and hospice settings where intervention is deliveredby both trained professionals and volunteers.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)46-59
    JournalPalliative Medicine
    Volume24
    Publication statusPublished - 17 Sep 2009

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