A pilot study of the development of pre-death bereavement risk assessment measures

[Speaker] Owada, Setsuko:1
[Co-author] Owada, Koji:2
1:Kobe Shoin Women's University (Japan), 2:Amagasaki Co-op Hospital (Japan)

To effectively use human resources, it is essential to identify bereaved family members at high risk of psychological distress and support them in the early stages of grief. Accordingly, this study develops a bereavement risk assessment measure and examines how medical staff rate family caregivers' risks of negative bereavement outcomes prior to patients' deaths. Primary nurses assessed family palliative care providers (n=924) using a 13-item observational checklist prior to patient deaths. Bereaved family members also completed the K6 and Inventory of Complicated Grief (ICG) at 6 months following the death. Higher K6 scores were associated with a lack of social support and dissatisfaction with medical service. Higher ICG scores were associated with spousal deaths, strong attachment to the patients, experiencing a sense of helplessness caring for the patient in the hospital, etc. The implications of these findings on the possible uses of the checklist will be discussed.
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