Evidence-Informed Primary Bereavement Care: A Knowledge-To-Action Approach

Funding Details
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
  • Grant type: Operating Grant: Knowledge to Action
  • Year: 2011/12
  • Total Funding: $199,443
Principle Investigator(s)

No partner organizations found.

Project Summary

The focus of bereavement care interventions to date has centered on those who present with complications. Primary bereavement care is considered as prevention and supportive for those experiencing the death of a loved one. Evidence indicates that the bereaved can suffer from a range of physical, emotional, social, and financial concerns, such as elevated risks of depression, increased somatic complaints, increased medication and substance abuse, and increased absenteeism and disability days. These lead to higher healthcare costs. Anticipation or prevention is generally less expensive than treatment. Bereavement care involves several levels of interventions. The focus of this project is primary preventive-type interventions that are designed to support bereaved individuals, families, and communities. VON Canada, a nursing led national home/community care organization, prioritized the need to improve the care provided to the bereaved in the communities they serve. In partnership with Lang (PI) and her colleagues, VON's Greater Halifax site, the setting for this current study, developed the Bereavement Care Best Practice Guideline (BCBPG). VON is committed to using this guideline as the foundation to steer the process of change to improved healthcare delivery. Long-term, the goal is a national consensus for a standard of care, which ensures that primary bereavement care is consistently provided. Given the evidence for potential negative health impacts following the death of a loved one, and the documented need for support, bereavement care based on a philosophy of prevention and health promotion must be integral to health care agendas and services. Primary bereavement care should be a priority. It requires a system change through effective knowledge to action strategies with key stakeholders across sectors and provinces.