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Coping and wellbeing in bereavement: two core outcomes for evaluating bereavement support in palliative care

Harrop, Emily ORCID:, Scott, Hannah, Sivell, Stephanie ORCID:, Seddon, Kathy, Fitzgibbon, Jim, Morgan, Fiona ORCID:, Pickett, Sara, Byrne, Anthony, Nelson, Annmarie ORCID: and Longo, Mirella ORCID: 2020. Coping and wellbeing in bereavement: two core outcomes for evaluating bereavement support in palliative care. BMC Palliative Care 19 , 29. 10.1186/s12904-020-0532-4

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Background Bereavement support is a core part of palliative care. However, the evidence base is limited by a lack of consistency in the outcomes used to evaluate services and models of support, which makes it difficult to compare approaches. Core Outcome Sets (COS) represent the minimum that should be measured in research into specific conditions or services. The aim of this study was to use a stakeholders’ perspective to develop a COS for evaluating bereavement support for adults in adult palliative care settings. Methods A list of outcomes relevant to bereavement support was created following a systematic review of the quantitative and qualitative literature. At an expert workshop 21 stakeholders discussed their views on the most important outcomes and compared these to and critiqued the lists constructed from the review. These lists and discussions informed a two round international DELPHI survey (n=240) designed to reach consensus on which outcomes/outcome dimensions should be included in the COS. To prioritise and validate the items emerging from the survey, participants at a subsequent consensus day ranked the relative importance of these items (n=23). A final feedback exercise with these consensus day participants was conducted to confirm the selection of outcomes and dimensions. Results ‘Ability to cope with grief’ and ‘Quality of life and Mental Wellbeing’ were selected as two core outcomes. 21 different dimensions to explore when assessing these outcomes were also identified. The coping related dimensions have been categorised as: Negative and overwhelming grief; Communication and connectedness; Understanding, accepting and finding meaning in grief; Finding balance between grief and life going forwards; Accessing appropriate support. Those relating to Quality of life and Wellbeing have been categorised as; Participation in work and/or regular activities; Relationships and social functioning; Positive mental wellbeing and Negative mental and emotional state. Conclusion This COS outlines a more consistent way forward for bereavement researchers and practitioners, whilst also orientating towards public health and resilience-based approaches to bereavement care. Further work is planned to identify and develop measures which are specific to this core outcome set, and which will facilitate the future comparability of bereavement services and interventions.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Dentistry
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Publisher: BioMed Central
ISSN: 1472-684X
Funders: Marie Curie
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 10 March 2020
Date of Acceptance: 21 February 2020
Last Modified: 07 Jul 2023 23:05

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