ABSTRACT: Health care professionals' grief: a model based on occupational
style and coping
Many publications address grief in terminally ill patients and their
loved ones. In contrast, this paper proposes a hypothetical model for grief
reactions in health care professionals (HCPs) working with terminally
The model integrates three literatures: burnout,
coping and personality/occupational interests. Grief-related
job stress can culminate in burnout that affects over 50% of
physicians treating the terminally and critically ill.
behaviors that attenuate burnout differ among HCPs, suggesting
that nurses prefer different coping strategies when compared
with physicians. The personality and occupational interests literatures
provide a rationale for coping differences in HCPs.
characteristics associated with occupational preferences provide
insight into HCPs' natural propensities for coping with stress.
The model addresses personality/occupational differences among
health care disciplines, thus providing a plausible explanation
for coping differences among HCPs, as well as potential interventions
that facilitate HCPs' adjustment to the deaths of their patients.
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