To identify what protocol and coping strategies oncologists turn to cope with patient loss, the authors interviewed 20 oncologists at 3 hospitals. Using the grounded theory method, findings revealed that their protocol may include meeting with families, participating in bereavement
rituals, making a phone call, or sending a condolence card. Coping strategies included social support, activity-oriented coping, turning to faith, compartmentalization, and withdrawing from patients and families. The authors conclude by offering implications from this research on how to address
oncologists’ grief over patient loss in institutional settings in order to improve bereavement care for families and enhance oncologists’ quality of life.
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Document Type: Research Article
Department of Public Health, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel
Palliative Care Consult Team, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Medical Oncology, Juravinski Cancer Centre, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Department of Medical Oncology & Hematology, Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
November 1, 2013
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