Studies have shown that long-term effects of bereavement increase health problems among many individuals. There is an increased need for bereavement care among family nurse practitioners to lessen physical and mental anguish among those who have experienced a loss. The purpose of this study was to describe and explore family nurse practitioners' perceptions of bereavement care. This study's importance was to find out what is being done to address patients' bereavement issues by the family nurse practitioner. Orlando's Nursing Process Theory was the theoretical framework that guided this study. The research question for this study was as follows : What are family nurse practitioners' perceptions of bereavement care? The sample {N = 143) consisted of family nurse practitioners practicing in a rural state in the southeastern United States. Perceptions of family nurse practitioners were assessed using a modified survey developed by Lemkau et al. (2000) entitled Family Physicians and Grieving Patients. Data were analyzed using measures of central tendency including means, percentages, and frequencies to summarize and describe the findings. Respondents in 1 1 1 general viewed that identifying and treating bereaved patients was a necessary role of the family nurse practitioner. All respondents had strong beliefs that grief contributed to health problems. Family nurse practitioners expressed a need for further education and training on the topic of bereavement. Based on the findings from the study, several nursing practice recommendations were made. The nurse practitioner should recognize the importance of bereavement care. Thus, a plan of care could be implemented for the bereaved patient. Through interventions and an appropriate plan of care for the bereaved patient, the nurse practitioner could decrease negative effects that bereavement can have on individuals. Recommendations for future research include replication of this study with a larger sample and investigation of grieving patients' perceptions of what is expected from their health care provider after a loss.


Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


Graduate Nursing

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