In the United States more than 2 million persons die annually, often leaving surviving family members requiring support services to assist them with the grief process. Symptoms of bereavement are generally similar to symptoms characteristic of a Major Depressive Episode and can include sadness, insomnia, poor appetite and weight loss. However, grief can be experienced in different ways depending on factors such as age, gender, social and cultural influences, social supports and the provision of after-care services. While research efforts across health disciplines (i.e., counseling, psychology, social work, palliative medicine, psychiatry, and nursing) have led to evidence-based treatments for the bereaved patient, there remains a gap in the training of health professionals with regard to the delivery of care for bereaved persons. This course attempts to fill that gap with a comprehensive, overview of the roles health professionals play in caring for these patients and a theory-and evidence-based presentation of relevant treatment approaches. Specifically, grief stage theory, the importance of social and group support in the management of bereavement, and differential bereavement symptomatology across sociodemographic boundaries are discussed, including the impact of age and a cross-cultural perspective on bereavement and complicated grief treatment.
This online course is approved for APA CE credit, NBCC CE clock hours, ASWB Clinical CE clock hours, and NYSED CE credit.
After completing this course, health professionals will be able to:
- Identify the 5 stages of bereavement and comparatively integrate that with current research on stage theory models.
- Discuss research findings on the effectiveness of 2 prominent treatment modalities for bereaved patients.
- Recognize 6 psychological symptoms associated with the bereavement experience and differentiate bereavement symptomatology among 3 different age groups.
- Articulate the effectiveness of bereavement support across 5 different cultures and social contexts.