The impact of bereavement support on wellbeing: a comparative study between Australia and Ireland
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Background: There is a dearth of national and international data on the impact of social support on physical, mental, and financial outcomes following bereavement. Methods: We draw from two large, population-based studies of bereaved people in Australia and Ireland to compare bereaved people’s experience of support. The Australian study used a postal survey targeting clients of six funeral providers and the Irish study used telephone interviews with a random sample of the population. Results: Across both studies, the vast majority of bereaved people reported relying on informal supporters, particularly family and friends. While sources of professional help were the least used, they had the highest proportions of perceived unhelpfulness. A substantial proportion, 20% to 30% of bereaved people, reported worsening of their physical and mental health and about 30% did not feel their needs were met. Those who did not receive enough support reported the highest deterioration in wellbeing. Discussion: The compassionate communities approach, which harnesses the informal resources inherent in communities, needs to be strengthened by identifying a range of useful practice models that will address the support gaps. Ireland has taken the lead in developing a policy framework providing guidance on level of service provision, associated staff competencies, and training needs.
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Breen, Lauren; Aoun, Samar; Rumbold, Bruce; McNamara, Beverley; Howting, Denise; Mancini, Vincent (2017)BACKGROUND: Most bereaved people do not require specialist intervention, yet building community capacity in providing bereavement support is underdeveloped. While family caregivers indicate a need for more information ...
Bereavement support for family caregivers: The gap between guidelines and practice in palliative careAoun, Samar; Rumbold, B.; Howting, Denise; Bolleter, A.; Breen, Lauren (2017)Background: Standards for bereavement care propose that support should be matched to risk and need. However, studies in many countries demonstrate that palliative care services continue to adopt a generic approach in ...
Aoun, Samar; Breen, Lauren; Howting, Denise; Rumbold, B.; McNamara, Beverley; Hegney, D. (2015)This study identifies and describes the profiles of bereavement risk and support needs of a community sample in Australia and tests the fit of the data with the three-tiered public health model for bereavement support. ...