An exploration of the lived experience of professional grief among occupational therapists working in palliative care

Treggalles, Kelly, and Lowrie, Daniel (2018) An exploration of the lived experience of professional grief among occupational therapists working in palliative care. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 65. pp. 329-337.

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Abstract

Background/aim: Occupational therapists who work in palliative care are frequently exposed to the experience of death and dying. Previous occupational therapy research has offered insight into factors that influence feelings relating to death and dying and associated coping strategies. However, existing literature is dated and has not specifically examined the concept of grief. This study addresses this gap in knowledge by exploring the lived experience of professional grief among occupational therapists working in palliative care settings.

Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six Australian palliative care occupational therapists. The data were collected and analysed using an interpretive phenomenological approach.

Results: Four interrelated themes were identified as core to the lived experience of professional grief among participants. These included; 'knowledge of self', 'giving permission for connections and feelings', 'filtering experience' and 'being present at work and at home'.

Conclusion: Considered in combination, these themes offer a guide for therapists to explore their own experience of and responses to professional grief and, in doing so, foster the development of personalised management strategies.

Item ID: 53732
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1440-1630
Keywords: grief; palliative care; occupational therapist
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2018 02:06
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1199 Other Medical and Health Sciences > 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920201 Allied Health Therapies (excl. Mental Health Services) @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920211 Palliative Care @ 50%
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