Chapter

Bereavement issues in later life

Gerard J. Byrne

in Casebook of clinical geropsychology

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780199583553
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754678 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780199583553.003.0013
Bereavement issues in later life

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Working with the bereaved allows the clinician to enter into the lives of ordinary people when they are at their most vulnerable state. This privilege should be approached with care and maturity. As grief reactions are one of the inevitable consequences of healthy attachments, they should not normally be considered pathologic entities. When pathologic grief does occur, it should be treated appropriately. However, this is not quite as straightforward as one might wish and clinicians should ensure they do no harm. Despite a voluminous literature on bereavement, the evidentiary basis for both pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions in older people with pathologic grief is still rather sparse. Much of the available research has been of limited rigor and most has been conducted on middle-aged women. Older people and men are seriously underrepresented in the scientific literature. Thus, there is great scope for further methodologically sound research in older bereaved persons.

Chapter.  8758 words. 

Subjects: Psychiatry ; Geriatric Medicine

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