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Grief Reactions 

Grief Reactions
Chapter:
Grief Reactions
Author(s):

E. Alessandra Strada

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190201708.003.0038
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date: 12 December 2019

Grief and bereavement care are an essential component of patient- and family-centered palliative care. This care begins at the first contact with patients and families and continues during transitions of care and during end-of-life care; it refocuses on bereaved caregivers after the death of the patient. Grief and bereavement care can be challenging due to the uniqueness and unpredictability of the grieving process. Because each palliative care patient and family caregiver should feel supported in his or her experience and expression of grief, palliative care providers must be knowledgeable about current conceptualizations of grief that more accurately describe the varieties and uniqueness of the grieving process. Furthermore, providers should closely monitor grief reactions and recognize risk factors for complications, such as depression and complex persistent bereavement disorder. When these occur, the interdisciplinary treatment plan should include referrals to mental health professionals and consideration given to pharmacological approaches to decrease morbidity.

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