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“normal” bereavement, there will be a significant number of people who are at risk of a more complicated grief reaction and for whom formal intervention may be required.1

19.

There is a spectrum of bereavement responses from “normal” grief

to prolonged or complicated grief, any point on which has the potential to impact on people’s lives in ways which will diminish their health and well being for a period of time which may last from months to several years. In earlier research on grief, the end point of the bereavement journey was

thought

to

be

to

relinquish

the

attachment

to

the

deceased.

More

recent

literature

stresses

the

existence

of

“continuing

bonds”

between

bereaved

and deceased and that the preservation successful adaptation (Field 2008).

of

these

bonds

is

integral

to

The ability to detect and ameliorate acute distress and disability associated

with bereavement should become … recognised as a public health concern. Prigerson et al (2008)

20. have

It is been

clear that enhancing understanding and care for those who bereaved will contribute to the health and well being of the

people of Scotland. impacts not just on

Evidence also exists individuals who are

to suggest that bereavement bereaved, but also on those

around them, for example services of government and nation (Corden et al 2008,

family and colleagues, and on the various local authorities and on the productivity of the Abdelnoor and Hollins 2004). That being so,

the detection grief must be

and amelioration of the varied and complex symptoms a matter of concern for government and for the economy

of as

well as for the individuals concerned.

21. care.

Historically bereavement care has largely been associated with palliative Living and Dying Well, the National Action Plan for Palliative and End of

1 For example Prigerson et al have published a number of articles on the prevalence and nature of what they have called Prolonged Grief Disorder (PGD). Prigerson et al (2008) suggest that 11% of bereaved people will experience PGD

Shaping Bereavement Care 13

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