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Outcomes of cancer bereavement therapeutic support groups

Jerome, Hannah; (2017) Outcomes of cancer bereavement therapeutic support groups. Doctoral thesis (D.Clin.Psy), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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This thesis examines group interventions for bereavement. It is presented in three parts. Part I is a literature review of the effectiveness of group interventions for uncomplicated grief. Eleven studies met inclusion criteria. Overall, study quality was mixed. Ten of the 11 studies reported improvement in outcomes. Future research would benefit from greater homogeneity in theoretical approach and measurement and clearer intervention rationale. Part II presents a pre-post study of 27 participants who attended a six-session therapeutic cancer bereavement support group. A small waiting list group (N=11) was also used to estimate changes in outcomes over time with no intervention. At intervention completion, symptoms of grief intensity, PTSD, anxiety and depression were reduced and self-compassion was increased. At three-month follow-up, improvement in symptoms remained for grief, PTSD and depression. The waiting-list control group showed no change on any measures. The study provides preliminary evidence that a brief therapeutic group is an effective intervention for cancer bereavement. Part III is a reflection and critical appraisal on the experience of conducting the research described in Part II. It considers the strengths and limitations of conducting research in the voluntary sector and some measurement and ethical considerations of bereavement research. It concludes with reflections on researcher reflexivity and the emotional impact of conducting bereavement research.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: D.Clin.Psy
Title: Outcomes of cancer bereavement therapeutic support groups
Event: University College London
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1574714
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