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Grief and loss in older people residing in nursing homes : (un)detected by nurses and care assistants?

Liesbeth Van Humbeeck (UGent) , Let Dillen (UGent) , Ruth Piers (UGent) and Nele Van Den Noortgate (UGent)
(2016) JOURNAL OF ADVANCED NURSING. 72(12). p.3125-3136
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Abstract
Aim: To explore how nurses and care-assistants (nursing staff) working in six Flemish nursing homes experience and describe their involvement in grief care. Background: Although grief in older people is widely described in literature, less is known about how nursing staff in nursing homes offer and perceive grief care. Design: A qualitative research design with elements of constructivist grounded theory was used. Methods: Loosely structured face-to-face interviews were done with fourteen nurses and care-assistants. Data were collected from October 2013 - March 2014. Interview transcripts were analysed using the Qualitative Analysis Guide of Leuven (QUAGOL) method with support of NVivo 10. Findings: Grief care in nursing homes is characterized by a complex tension between two care dimensions: (1) being involved while keeping an appropriate distance; and (2) being while doing. Nursing staff described key enablers and influencing factors for grief care at the level of both the individual and the organizational context. Conclusion: Findings suggest an established personal sensitivity for grief care considered from the nursing staff points of view. Nevertheless, a common denominator was the necessity to further develop a supportive and multidisciplinary grief care policy ingrained in the existing care culture. Suggested components of this grief care policy are: (a) centring attention on non-death-related loss and the cumulative nature of loss in residents; (b) building capacity by means of reflective practices; and (c) the importance of self-care strategies for nursing staff. Further, the findings from this study point towards a need for education and training.
Keywords
care-assistants, grief, loss, nurses, nursing, nursing home, older people, QUALITATIVE DATA-ANALYSIS, DEPRESSIVE SYMPTOMS, OF-LIFE, BEREAVEMENT, EXPERIENCES, RESIDENTS, COMMUNICATION, HEALTH, DEATH, WORK

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Citation

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Chicago
Van Humbeeck, Liesbeth, Let Dillen, Ruth Piers, and Nele Van Den Noortgate. 2016. “Grief and Loss in Older People Residing in Nursing Homes : (un)detected by Nurses and Care Assistants?” Journal of Advanced Nursing 72 (12): 3125–3136.
APA
Van Humbeeck, Liesbeth, Dillen, L., Piers, R., & Van Den Noortgate, N. (2016). Grief and loss in older people residing in nursing homes : (un)detected by nurses and care assistants? JOURNAL OF ADVANCED NURSING, 72(12), 3125–3136.
Vancouver
1.
Van Humbeeck L, Dillen L, Piers R, Van Den Noortgate N. Grief and loss in older people residing in nursing homes : (un)detected by nurses and care assistants? JOURNAL OF ADVANCED NURSING. 2016;72(12):3125–36.
MLA
Van Humbeeck, Liesbeth, Let Dillen, Ruth Piers, et al. “Grief and Loss in Older People Residing in Nursing Homes : (un)detected by Nurses and Care Assistants?” JOURNAL OF ADVANCED NURSING 72.12 (2016): 3125–3136. Print.
@article{8046510,
  abstract     = {Aim: To explore how nurses and care-assistants (nursing staff) working in six Flemish nursing homes experience and describe their involvement in grief care.
Background: Although grief in older people is widely described in literature, less is known about how nursing staff in nursing homes offer and perceive grief care.
Design: A qualitative research design with elements of constructivist grounded theory was used.
Methods: Loosely structured face-to-face interviews were done with fourteen nurses and care-assistants. Data were collected from October 2013 - March 2014. Interview transcripts were analysed using the Qualitative Analysis Guide of Leuven (QUAGOL) method with support of NVivo 10.
Findings: Grief care in nursing homes is characterized by a complex tension between two care dimensions: (1) being involved while keeping an appropriate distance; and (2) being while doing. Nursing staff described key enablers and influencing factors for grief care at the level of both the individual and the organizational context.
Conclusion: Findings suggest an established personal sensitivity for grief care considered from the nursing staff points of view. Nevertheless, a common denominator was the necessity to further develop a supportive and multidisciplinary grief care policy ingrained in the existing care culture. Suggested components of this grief care policy are: (a) centring attention on non-death-related loss and the cumulative nature of loss in residents; (b) building capacity by means of reflective practices; and (c) the importance of self-care strategies for nursing staff. Further, the findings from this study point towards a need for education and training.},
  author       = {Van Humbeeck, Liesbeth and Dillen, Let and Piers, Ruth and Van Den Noortgate, Nele},
  issn         = {0309-2402},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF ADVANCED NURSING},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {12},
  pages        = {3125--3136},
  title        = {Grief and loss in older people residing in nursing homes : (un)detected by nurses and care assistants?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jan.13063},
  volume       = {72},
  year         = {2016},
}

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