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1.5 CE Test Hours

Original Research

Helping Health Care Providers and Staff Process Grief Through a Hospital-Based Program

Contrada, Emily

AJN The American Journal of Nursing: July 2019 - Volume 119 - Issue 7 - p 34
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000569336.50530.b0
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Helping Health Care Providers and Staff Process Grief Through a Hospital-Based Program


To present the details of a study that investigated the feasibility and effectiveness of offering an intensive bereavement support program to hospital employees of a large academic health system.

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After completing this continuing education activity, you should be able to

  • review the background information about grief in health care settings that is helpful in understanding the authors’ study.
  • describe the study's participants, methodology, and workshop.
  • summarize the results of the study.
  1. In the health care workplace, the social context typically discourages expressions of grief in favor of
    1. maintaining patients’ confidentiality.
    2. displaying a stoic professional identity.
    3. proceeding to meet other patients’ needs.
  2. Grief that isn't openly acknowledged, socially validated, or publicly observed is
    1. masked grief.
    2. complicated grief.
    3. disenfranchised grief.
  3. Research indicates a significant prevalence among health care providers of which of the following?
    1. maladaptive grief
    2. compassion fatigue
    3. depressive disorders
  4. According to Ludick and Figley, among providers, high levels of exposure to patients’ suffering has been associated with which of the following?
    1. dissociative disorders
    2. generalized anxiety disorder
    3. posttraumatic stress disorder
  5. At the individual level, unaddressed grief can lead to
    1. loss of self-worth.
    2. depersonalization of patients.
    3. increased absenteeism and turnover.
  6. At the organizational level, unaddressed provider grief can lead to
    1. impaired judgment.
    2. reduced quality of patient care.
    3. feelings of isolation, anger, and guilt.
  7. As reported in the literature, strategies that help support health care staff include
    1. critical incident stress debriefings.
    2. acupuncture and acupressure.
    3. guided imagery.
  8. Developers of the Healing Loss Workshop based this program on models from
    1. social learning theory.
    2. substance abuse recovery.
    3. cognitive behavioral therapy.
  9. One of the topics the first half day of the Healing Loss Workshop focuses on is
    1. self-care practices.
    2. attunement and connection.
    3. attachment styles related to grieving.
  10. Interspersed at various points during the workshop are activities aimed at facilitating a sense of catharsis and respite, based in part on previous work in
    1. mindfulness.
    2. self-determination.
    3. systematic desensitization.
  11. The majority of workshop participants the authors surveyed were
    1. case managers.
    2. administrative staff.
    3. nurses and NPs.
  12. The majority of workshop participants worked for
    1. clinical departments.
    2. social service departments.
    3. administrative departments.
  13. Upon completing the workshop, 98% of participants reported that they
    1. would use self-care tools.
    2. were “extremely” or “very” satisfied.
    3. felt better prepared to grieve personal losses.
  14. Over 95% of participants reported that the workshop helped them “very much” or “extremely” in
    1. relieving stress.
    2. anticipating losses.
    3. desiring additional education.
  15. In examining the qualitative results of their study, the authors identified which of the following as an important theme?
    1. autonomy
    2. forgiveness
    3. determination
  16. Of the following, the highest percentage of respondents reported at follow-up that they felt
    1. better able to carry out their caregiver role personally.
    2. more equipped to cope with loss in their personal lives.
    3. better able to carry out their caregiver role professionally.
  17. The authors noted that one of the more poignant themes participants expressed was having a deeper sense of compassion and
    1. shared humanity.
    2. personal generosity.
    3. community involvement.
  18. Several participants reported feeling that the workshop demonstrated the organization's understanding of their needs, especially because the experience was so
    1. enlightening.
    2. structured.
    3. intimate.
  19. The authors noted that the workshop facilitators played a key role in cultivating an environment of safety and
    1. nurturance.
    2. diversity.
    3. comfort.
  20. The experience of witnessing one another shifted participants’ understanding of loss from one that was internal and solitary to one that was communal and
    1. spiritual.
    2. validated.
    3. documented.
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