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Title: Exploring the difficulties of caring for bereaved relatives in a general hospital : a qualitative study of the views of doctors and nurses
Author: Rentoul, Lynette
ISNI:       0000 0001 3514 1426
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 1999
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This study reports upon the views of 28 doctors and 36 nurses, whose work in a large general hospital involved high levels of contact with bereaved relatives. It sought to illuminate, from the point of view of the doctors and nurses, issues, which the literature has implicated in the problems of working closely with bereaved relatives. These include; the nature of the stresses contingent upon communicating with bereaved relatives; the professional constraints, which add to these stresses; the extent to which the doctors and nurses felt that their professional education prepared them for this work; and the effectiveness of work place support. The study adopted a qualitative approach to the research design. It sought to explore the meanings of this work, and its contingent stresses, from the point of view of the doctors and nurses. This approach reflected the researcher's commitment to generating a deep and textured understanding of the clinical situation, by adopting an open approach to data collection. Interviews were conducted with the participants in the study; these were audiorecorded and transcribed. The transcriptions of the interviews were analysed in the manner described by Strauss and Corbin (1990), which involved a constant interplay between the raw data and the researcher's theorising about that data. The results of this study chimed with the findings of previous research, and also offered new ways of understanding the phenomena. The nurses and doctors found their close work with bereaved relatives stressful, especially early in their careers, when they shouldered a heavy responsibility for this work. Conflict between the doctors and nurses made this work far more taxing. Many participants reported feeling ill-prepared and poorly supported in this work. The study also offered new ways of understanding and addressing the problems. In particular, it highlighted the confusion in the minds of the participants about the underlying philosophy of medicine. It emphasised the importance of placing the ethos of care at the heart of medical education and practice, of developing effective multi-disciplinary teamwork, and establishing multi-disciplinary educational workshops on working with bereaved relatives.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Bereavement; Stresses; Councelling