Research Output
A walk through bereavement theory
  This paper examines and discusses specific grief theories that have emerged over a number of years, resulting in an overview of some of the main theories for the reader. It aims to inform nurses and encourage further exploration of the subject, ultimately resulting in an evidence-based approach to bereavement support. The roots of bereavement theory, found in the health-related literature, lie mainly within psychiatry and psychology, which may explain some of the reluctance of general nurses to engage with this literature and area of health care. The application of bereavement support in practice is important and detailed discussion of a practical application will be discussed in another paper; however, initial understanding of bereavement theory enables staff to begin to support patients and carers in an informed manner. No theory is absolute, and it is unlikely that any bereaved person follows the pattern of an individual theory as written, instead presenting a unique individual adaptation of parts of theories to reflect their personality and history. Notably due to the limitations of this article some theorists are not included. Therefore, disenfranchised grief, although acknowledged as important to the bigger picture is omitted.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    10 November 2016

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  • Library of Congress:

    RT Nursing

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    610.7 Medical education, research & nursing

  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


Dosser, I. (2016). A walk through bereavement theory. End of life care, 6(1),



Grief, bereavement support, health care, nurse education,

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