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Spiritual beliefs may affect outcome of bereavement: prospective study

Walsh, K; King, M; Jones, L; Tookman, A; Blizard, R; (2002) Spiritual beliefs may affect outcome of bereavement: prospective study. BRIT MED J , 324 (7353) 1551 - 1554. Green open access

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Abstract

Objective To explore the relation between spiritual beliefs and resolution of bereavement.Design Prospective cohort study of people about to be bereaved with follow up continuing for 14 months after the death.Setting A Marie Curie centre for specialist palliative care in London.Participants 135 relatives and close friends of patients admitted to the centre with terminal illness.Main outcome measure Core bereavement items, a standardised measure of grief, measured 1, 9, and 14 months after the patients' death.Results People reporting no spiritual belief had not resolved their grief by 14 months after the death. Participants with strong spiritual beliefs resolved their grief progressively over the same period. People with low levels of belief showed little change in die first nine months but thereafter resolved their grief. These differences approached significance in a repeated measures analysis of variance (F=2.42, P=0.058). Strength of spiritual belief remained an important predictor after the explanatory power of relevant confounding variables was controlled for. At 14 months the difference between the group with no beliefs and the combined low and high belief groups was 7.30 (95% confidence interval 0.86 to 13.73) points on the core bereavement items scale. Adjusting for confounders in the final model reduced this difference to 4.64 (1.04 to 10.32) points.Conclusion People who profess stronger spiritual beliefs seem to resolve their grief more rapidly and completely after the death of a close person dian do people with no spiritual beliefs.

Type: Article
Title: Spiritual beliefs may affect outcome of bereavement: prospective study
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Keywords: ROYAL FREE INTERVIEW, ADJUSTMENT, DEPRESSION, SCALE
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
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
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Eastman Dental Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/7507
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