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Grief, anger and despair in relatives of severely brain injured patients: responding without pathologising

Kitzinger, Celia and Kitzinger, Jenny ORCID: 2014. Grief, anger and despair in relatives of severely brain injured patients: responding without pathologising. Clinical Rehabilitation 28 (7) , pp. 627-631. 10.1177/0269215514527844

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The training and expertise of healthcare professionals in diagnosing and treating pathology can mean that every situation is treated as an instance of illness or abnormality requiring treatment. This medicalised perspective is often evident in clinical approaches to family members of people with prolonged disorders of consciousness. This editorial was stimulated by reviewing an article (final version now published in this issue) concerning the distress of families with severely brain injured relatives,2 and by reading the larger body of literature to which that article contributes. It was also prompted by the recent publication of national clinical guidelines in the UK about the management of prolonged disorders of consciousness. In this editorial we highlight the depth and range of emotional reactions commonly experienced by families with a severely brain injured relative. We suggest that clinicians should understand such emotions as normal responses to a terrible situation, and consider the ways in which clinical practice can be adapted to avoid contributing to family trauma.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 0269-2155
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 8 August 2018
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 01:33

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