Bereavement outcomes: a quantitative survey identifying risk factors in family carers bereaved through cancer

Audrey Roulston, Anne Campbell, Victoria Cairnduff, Deirdre Fitzpatrick, Conan Donnelly, Anna Gavin

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11 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Enabling patients to die in their preferred place is important but achieving preferred place of death may increase the informal carer’s risk into bereavement. Aim: to determine risk factors of family carers bereaved through cancer in Northern Ireland. Design: These results form part of a larger QUALYCARE-NI study which used postal questionnaires to capture quantitative data on carer’s bereavement scores using the Texas Revised Inventory of Grief. Setting/participants: Participants were individuals who: registered the death of a person between 1st December 2011 and 31st May 2012; where cancer (defined by ICD10 codes C00-D48) was the primary cause; where the deceased was over 18 years of age and death occurred at home, hospice, nursing home or hospital in Northern Ireland. Participants were approached in confidence by the Demography and Methodology Branch of the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. Those wishing to decline participation were invited to return the reply slip. Non-responders received a second questionnaire six weeks after initial invitation. Results indicated that risk factors positively influencing bereavement outcomes included patients having no preference for place of death and carers remaining in employment pre or post bereavement. In contrast, patients dying in hospital, carers stopping work, being of lower socio-economic status and close kinship to the deceased negatively impacted on bereavement scores. Family carers should be adequately supported to continue in employment; priority should be given to assessing the financial needs of families from lower socio-economic areas; and bereavement support should focus on close relatives of the deceased.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162
JournalPalliative Medicine
Issue number2
Early online date11 May 2016
Publication statusEarly online date - 11 May 2016


  • Bereavement


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