Chronic sorrow theory Case Study

Document Type:Case Study

Subject Area:Nursing

Document 1

They theory utilized 10 qualitative research articles using the Burke /NCRs chronic sorrow questionnaire. The chronic sorrow theory is defined as the periodic occurrence of permanent, pervasive feelings of grief and sadness which are associated with disparity as a result of a loss (Eakes, Burke & Hainsworth, 1998). Chronic sorrow is considered as a normal response to the loss. This theory theorizes that in individuals whose life has had a disparity due to loss, experience a return of the grief as long as the disparity that was created by the loss remains. The theory is useful in practice as it offers an understanding of individuals affected by a loss and provides an alternative of viewing the loss and experience of grief. It is the considered level of disparity that is considered in specific patients that provides a way through which care providers can be able to link grief to the care of individuals.

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Using the Chronic sorrow theory, nursing care providers are able to pre-empt the occurrence and risk of occurrence of chronic grief in patients and establish a coping and care approach for the management of such patients. The theory achieves this by clearly stating the possible triggers and their relation to chronic sorrow. The theory of Chronic sorrow is significant to different groups of individuals. The initial theory was related and created significance among the mothers of children with disabilities. I chose this theory as I found it as a credible theory that offers a clear and easy understanding of addressing loss and grief among patients in care. The theory provides me as a nurse with an understanding of individualized grief perception which is key in enabling the understanding of grief and loss among patients and in determining the care needed for each patient cohorts.

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I also choose the theory as it agrees with my nursing philosophy which is founded on the provision of individualized care for patients in order to achieve positive patient needs of care. The theory focuses on the identification of different individualized abilities to responding to a loss which is individualized. The concepts of the theory are tenement to the theories relevance to meeting this individualized patient care through individualized patient assessment, care planning, and personalized care. Although the experiences of sorrow are different, there are common predictable features of the human experience of loss and that which can be predicted. Individuals health will be significantly impacted by their ability to cope with the experience of loss and the responses to a loss in individuals is impacted by the environment in which they function in and communicate with (Bredow & Peterson, 2013).

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The elements of the theory are that chronic sorrow is normal response to loss and is cyclical in nature, the triggers of loss can be predicted and anticipated, that individuals perceive disparity between the ideal and the reality with the difference causing disparity and that both personal and professional interventions in loss may or may not be effective. The relationship between the elements and the assumptions is that the assumptions of the theory can be used to alter and manage the assertations to provide a positive patient outcome of grief. For example, the assumption of nursing where the diagnosis of chronic sorrow can be predicted and interventions made to bridge the gap between reality and ideal hence managing the experience of disparity.

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Care provided can be palliative care for the dying patients, caring for the family and relatives and also care in offering nursing care for the patients to meet their day-to-day needs. In applying the theory to patients and families, nurses ought to be open and sensitive to the families as well as the patients on the impending loss or the loss response process (Altmaier, 2011). In the case of a loss the nurse has to initially identify the needs of the patient in view of the loss and in a subtle manner provide care holistically to those affected by the loss enabling them to cope (Altmaier, 2011). In caring for chronic and terminal patients with disparity and grief, nurses aim to increase their quality of life through providing the patients with the correct information on the likely outcomes of the care and the disease process and ensuring that they understand the possible end of their diagnosis, their loss of independence and their roles in managing the triggers and disparity.

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Case study A 45- year old male patient is admitted with an attempted suicide. Planning/interventions: The goal for this patient as per the chronic sorrow theory is to ensure he is able to effectively cope with his loss and achieve an increased level of comfort. The initial intervention will be to institute an assessment of the inherent coping abilities and strategies which he can ride on to improve coping (strengthen internal management). This can be through invoking spiritual strengths or emotional strengths to improve coping. The external intervention will be more useful in the patient through offering a listening ear and providing empathy to the patient. This can be achieved through counseling and grief debriefing the patient, providing a distraction to his feelings and thoughts of loss and providing him with alternative interaction and social support.

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